Abducted Pilgrims Slam Officials as Relatives Block Airport Road to Protest State Inaction

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The families of the 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims who were abducted in Syria on Monday blocked the airport road to protest the Lebanese state's failure to secure their release.

State-run National News Agency said the protesters used their cars and motorcycles to block the highway in both directions.

Sheikh Abbas Zgheib, spokesman for the campaign demanding their release, said “this action is the first step and it might be escalated should the state fail to address this issue.”

“The sit-in will remain in place until we see the officials’ reaction,” he added.

LBCI television said the protesters prevented a U.N. bus from reaching the Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport.

Earlier on Monday, al-Jadeed television said the abductees telephoned their families and reassured them that they are in good health.

For its part, LBCI said the abductees told their families that only former premier Saad Hariri and MP Oqab Saqr are following their case.

In a phone interview with al-Jadeed, abductee Abbas Shoaib said: “If we don't have a president, a premier or a speaker, let our people demand our release.”

Shoaib denied media reports that two of the hostages had fled the location of their imprisonment when it came under shelling on Saturday.

“The Syrian people are the most generous people,” he added.

Abu Ibrahim, the leader of the group that abducted the 11 pilgrims, told LBCI that “the abductees enjoy total freedom and we did not come under any attack.”

Another abductee, Ali Zgheib, told LBCI: “We were hoping the president would demand our release, but unfortunately we have not heard a single word since three months. Abu Ibrahim is our brother and we would be honored to be granted the Syrian nationality by the Syrian revolutionaries.”

Comments 4
Thumb Marwan34 06 August 2012, 23:48

Yallah time for another airport somewhere far away from Dahiye !!!

Default-user-icon Horus (Guest) 07 August 2012, 03:11

Why doesnt HA send a rescue team ? Or is it just for Israel ?

Default-user-icon C. S. Nassar (Guest) 07 August 2012, 11:23

Blocking the airport road is a totally futile attempt to bring back the kidnapped eleven. 48 Iranians were recently kidnapped in Syria and the Iranian government has not been able to do anything. I don't see any Iranian families blocking the road to Tehran airport. Such actions are uncivilized, they harm the economy, and they create ill-feeling towards the families of the kidnapped 11. Innocent travelers are being punished at random and for no reason.

Thumb benzona 07 August 2012, 15:29

Did I not read 3 days ago that since sheikh Asir's blockade, this wouldn't happen again? What kind of state is this? The minister is just a waffler....

I think they want sheikh Asir to come back... Mish ma3 2ool.