Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Edinburgh at 70: front row at the Festival

Read more

FOCUS

Oil theft: a multi-billion dollar business fuels Mexican cartels

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government, employers and unions begin final discussions on labour reforms

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Here are six costly failures from America’s longest war. No. 1: cashmere goats'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Charter of transparency…but no official ‘first lady’ title for Brigitte Macron

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigeria's Buhari slams divisions after a 3-month absence

Read more

THE DEBATE

What's next for the "Islamic State Group"?

Read more

ENCORE!

Opera singers Thomas Hampson & Luca Pisaroni return to Paris

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger has forced many Nigerian refugees in northern Cameroon to return to dangerous Boko Haram territory.

Read more

Middle east

Tourists kidnapped in Lebanon

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-23

Seven Estonian tourists biking in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley were kidnapped by masked gunmen and driven off in the back of two vans Wednesday, shortly after entering the country from Syria.

REUTERS – Seven Estonians riding bicycles in Lebanon's Bekaa valley were kidnapped by masked gunmen on Wednesday, security sources said, a rare incident of its kind since the Lebanese civil war.

The exact circumstances of the attack in an industrial zone in eastern Lebanon remained unclear.

 Security sources said masked gunmen in a black Mercedes and two white vans kidnapped the foreigners on a road between Zahle, a mostly Christian town, and Kfar Zabed, a mixed Sunni-Christian town.
 
The cyclists had apparently crossed into Lebanon from Syria at about 4 p.m. (1400 GMT), a source said.
 
The Estonian consul in Lebanon, Sami Kamouh, told Reuters he had received a phone call from the General Security in Zahle who told him they had found the papers of Estonians at the scene of the attack.
 
A Reuters photographer at the scene said the bicycles and backpacks of the cyclists were lying on the ground. Security forces were at the scene and speaking to witnesses.
 
The army confirmed seven Europeans were "missing" but gave no further details.
 
Shadowy groups linked to Hezbollah kidnapped dozens of Western hostages in Beirut in the 1980s during Lebanon's civil war. But instances of kidnapping have been rare since then.
 
There is a base for a pro-Syrian Palestinian militant group on the outskirts of Kfar Zabed.
 
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
Last year, two Polish tourists were briefly kidnapped in the Bekaa valley but were freed after security forces opened fire on their captors at a checkpoint, killing one of them.

 

Date created : 2011-03-23

COMMENT(S)