World Bulletin / News Desk
Lebanese forces foiled an attempted kidnapping of Syrian refugees in north Lebanon linked to the fighting in neighbouring Syria, the army said on Monday.
Abductions of Syrians and other foreigners are a growing concern in Lebanon, where a local clan kidnapped 20 Syrians and a Turkish businessman in retaliation for one of their relatives taken hostage by Syrian rebels in Damascus.
Lebanese forces were on high alert on Sunday that an abduction might take place near the port city of Tripoli and eventually stopped the perpetrators in the act, an army statement said. Twelve people were arrested.
The Lebanese army said the would-be kidnapping targeted Syrian refugees sympathetic to foes of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting an almost 18-month-old uprising.
"After a heated pursuit we were able to get our hands on a gang of six, and from there the armed forces were able to arrest three more people in the Bahsas-Tripoli area, who were captured as they tried to arrest someone from the Syrian opposition," the army statement said. Three more were detained after questioning.
Kidnappings in Lebanon have reinforced fears that the Syria conflict could reignite instability in a much smaller neighbour where Damascus has had a major influence for decades.
In Syria, hostage-taking is common between rebels fighting to topple Assad and militias loyal to the embattled leader. Rebels have taken several Lebanese and Iranian men hostage, accusing them of working for Assad's forces.
The Turkish military destroys 224 ISIL targets and neutralizes 23 ISIL extremists as part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield Operation
Incoming administration to decide whether to attend, State Dept. says
Assad regime and its allies have violated three-week-old truce from the outset, critics say
Problems in Syria remain emblematic of incoherence in Obama’s foreign policy, despite Kerry’s attempt at defense
A garrison loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has held out in the city largely surrounded by the Huthi rebels and their allies who control the capital Sanaa and much of the north.
The building, dating from the early 1960s and including a shopping centre and clothing workshops, had been evacuated, but firefighters were battling the blaze inside and it was not immediately clear if there were casualties.
Turkish army hits 182 ISIL targets in northern Syria, says General Staff
Russian foreign minister says invitation enables participation of all those who mentioned in public statements
Defendants charged with involvement in two high-profile assassination attempts last year, judicial source says
Strikes 'were a result of continued coordination with Turkey', U.S.-led coalition says
At the Paris conference, some 70 countries affirmed their support for a two-state solution that would see a state of Palestine co-existing alongside Israel.
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov delivered the warning to the Security Council, which met for the first time since the adoption of a contentious resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.
Suspect is believed to have recruited suicide bombers for notorious extremist group
Iraqi officials slammed Bahrain’s execution on Sunday of three men convicted of killing policemen two years ago
116 ISIL targets also destroyed as part of Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield
3 others wounded in attack on security checkpoint, health ministry says