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11:24, 23 July 2012 Monday

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Syria fighter says not to free abducted Lebanese until Assad quits
Syria fighter says not to free abducted Lebanese until Assad quits
(File Photo)

Abu Omar said he was in charge of rebel forces in the northern Syrian Azaz region.

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Syrian rebel commander told Reuters on Sunday that 11 kidnapped Lebanese Shi'ites are staying in air-conditioned rooms and are in good health but will not be released until President Bashar al-Assad leaves power and a new parliament is elected.

"Their health is good and they're fine and they're eating and drinking well, staying in a farm with full comfort and air conditioning, and they're alive," Abu Omar, commander of the Storm of the North brigade, told Reuters at the Bab al-Salam border crossing with Turkey, which his men had overrun on Sunday.

The Lebanese hostages were on a bus that was stopped by gunmen on May 22 as it crossed into northern Syria from Turkey on its way home from a visit to Iran. The gunmen released the women and kept the men.

Abu Omar said he was in charge of rebel forces in the northern Syrian Azaz region.



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