10-Year-Old Boy Released after One-Day Kidnap Ordeal

The Internal Security Forces freed on Saturday 10-year-old Michel al-Saqr, the son of a reputed businessman, a day after he was kidnapped, the state-run National News Agency reported.

According to NNA, Saqr was freed in the Bekaa village of Talia without the payment of a ransom.

Michel was transferred at 2:45 a.m. to the Serail of Zahle to give his testimony.

Heavy gunfire was heard was heard in the eastern city of Zahle after news of his release broke out.

Prime Minsiter Tammam Salam hailed the efforts exerted by the army and security forces that led to the release of al-Saqr, voicing hope that “kidnapping ordeal end.”

“The firmness imposed by the state's security agencies is the optimal way to deal with any violation of the law,” Salam pointed out.

The Premier also contacted his deputy and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq to praise their endeavors.

Michel was abducted at gunpoint on Friday in Zahle as he was heading to school with the family's driver.

Four masked gunmen in a Grand Cherokee intercepted al-Saqr's Kia vehicle, pointed a gun at the driver before driving off with Michel.

The reasons behind the abduction remain unclear.

Several residents blocked the Zahle highway to protest the abduction of Michel.

On Thursday, Antoine Daher al-Kaadi was kidnapped by masked gunmen on the Ablah road in the Bekaa and was released later during the day in unknown circumstances.

The kidnap-for-ransom phenomenon increased last year and has been strongly criticized by officials from across the political spectrum.

Lebanon had also witnessed a wave of sectarian abductions caused by the war in Syria have also taken place.

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