Taalabaya Road Blocked after Resident Briefly Held by al-Labweh Gunmen

A resident of the Bekaa town of Taalabaya was briefly kidnapped on Sunday during unrest that erupted following a deadly incident in the barren mountains of Ras Baalbek in the Bekaa.

The abductee Mohannad Mehieddine has been released after he was kidnapped at a checkpoint set up by gunmen in the town of al-Labweh in the wake of the shooting death of the four young men between al-Qaa and Hermel, state-run National News Agency reported.

Taalabaya residents had formed human chains and blocked the Saadnayel-Taalabaya public road in both directions in response to the abduction, but it was later reopened by security forces, NNA said.

They had also staged a protest near the town's mosque, according to the agency.

Gunmen took to the streets in northern Bekaa and set up impromptu checkpoints after four people, including two members of the powerful Jaafar clan, were killed when their car came under gunfire in an agricultural part of al-Qaa, home to a predominantly Sunni population.

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