Pilots in Lebanon Kidnapped

Two pilots who had been working in Lebanon for Turkish Airlines, were abducted near the international airport in Beirut.

The two men were snatched of a bus, which had been carrying a number of other members of the crew and passengers between the airport terminal and a hotel.

A group known as Zuwwar al-Iman Rida claimed they had seized the two men and said they would be let free in exchange for nine hostages who are Lebanese and being held in Syria.

The families of the hostages have urged Turkey to help with the securing of their release.

Turkey supports the Sunni rebels in Syria, and is thought to have influence over what they do., while the majority of the Shia community in Lebanon supports current president Bashar al-Assad.

All information seems to indicate that this incident of kidnapping was retaliation for last year’s kidnapping of Shia pilgrims from Lebanon inside Syria.

The group Zummar al-Iman Rida was unknown previously until they claimed responsibility for the pilots’ kidnapping saying they will be treated well and released once the pilgrims were released.

Although family members of the pilgrims denied any direct involvement, they celebrated after hearing of the abduction of the two airlines pilots.

Over recent months, families have increased their protests and blamed the government of turkey for the delay in the release of the men.

One witness to the kidnapping said it was brazen and took place just outside the international airport, only meters from a checkpoint stationed by the army.

Authorities said there had been a high level pre-planning prior to the kidnapping, as the attackers know the crew of the airline was going to be aboard.

The Interior Minister in Lebanon told reporters that the kidnapping took place at 3:00 am local time on a bus that have several Turkish Airlines members headed from the airport to the hotel.

At least four, and possibly more gunmen had been involved in the abduction.

Leave a Reply

© 2006-2016 Mideast Time.