Zgheib Rules Out Kidnapped Lebanese in Syria to be Released 'Soon'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Sheikh Abbas Zgheib, who has been tasked by the Higher Islamic Shiite Council to follow up the case of the abducted Lebanese pilgrims in Syria in May, denied on Friday reports that they will be released soon.
“We have no information on the matter, other than the reports we hear in the media,” Zgheib said in comments published in Kuwait's As-Siyasah newspaper.
He pointed out that contacts are ongoing with the mediators, voicing hope that all the kidnapped men would be freed soon.
“Unfortunately there's someone playing with the nerves of the families of the abductees... No new development has occurred yet” Zgheib said.
On Thursday, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that four of the remaining nine Lebanese pilgrims will be released by the end of November.
It noted that a mediator, identified as Abou Mohammed, hinted that one of the men will be released on Saturday.
Abou Ibrahim, the head of the so-called Northern Storm Brigade, kidnapped eleven Lebanese pilgrims in the northern province of Aleppo on May 22 as they were returning home from Iran.
One abductee was released in August in what his captors said was a “goodwill” gesture and another was released in September.
The kidnappers had repeatedly linked the release of the Lebanese captives to Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, a close ally of the Syrian regime, apologizing over his stances on the Syrian revolt.