Report: Families of 11 Pilgrims Holding Turkish National as Captiveإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Turkish national, Abdul-Basset Arslan, who was kidnapped in Beirut on Friday, is held by the families of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims who were seized in Syria in May.
“We obtained information that the families of the 11 abducted men kidnapped Arslan,” an official source told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Tuesday.
The 11 Lebanese were kidnapped in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on their way home from a pilgrimage to Iran on May 22. Conflicting reports have emerged on their fate after Syrian government forces shelled the area of Aazaz where they were being held.
“It seems that the abducted Turkish nationals were split between al-Meqdad clan and the families of the abducted men,” the source pointed out.
Later OTV reported that the families of the 11 abducted Lebanese pilgrims threatened to kick off kidnapping operations after the Lebanese government’s failure to release the captives.
Arslan is the second Turkish citizen to be abducted in Lebanon after al-Meqdad clan announced that it kidnapped Aidan Toufan in an attempt to press Turkey to exert efforts to release Hassan Salim al-Meqdad, who was allegedly abducted by the Free Syrian Army in Damascus last week.
The clan denied that the family’s previously unknown military wing had anything to do with the abduction of Arslan.