World Bulletin / News Desk
Lebanese security forces freed four Syrian hostages on Tuesday in a raid on a powerful Shi'ite Muslim clan, which kidnapped more than 20 people last month.
The four told a Lebanese television station they had been tortured when they were held by the armed wing of the Meqdad clan and were forced to confess they were rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
They were among more than 20 Syrian men, as well as a Turkish businessman, abducted in the Lebanese capital of Beirut in mid-August.
The clan said its abductions were in response to the capture of one of its kinsmen by Syrian rebels trying to topple Assad.
The clan later released all but the four Syrians and the Turk, who the Meqdad family spokesman Maher Meqdad said was shot and wounded in the raid and is now the only hostage left.
The army said it had freed the four in a midnight raid in a southern suburb of the capital.
"The army leadership is intent on continuing its raids and imposing the rule of law," the army statement said. "It will not back away from these measures until it has caught all those involved and freed all the hostages."
The kidnapping of foreigners has become a growing concern in Lebanon, which is concerned about a possible spillover of sectarian violence from the revolt in neighbouring Syria.
The tensions have provoked sporadic clashes in northern Lebanon between pro- and anti-Assad factions that have already killed dozens.
The four Syrians told the MTV Lebanon news channel they had been tortured and forced to confess on the regional news channel Al Mayadeen, which is based in Lebanon.
"I was forced by threats to say I was in the FSA, that I was a captain ... I have nothing to do with this, I'm just a shop worker here to support my wife and kids," one said, referring to the Free Syrian Army.
Another freed hostage, who gave his name as Mohammed, said he was beaten, electrocuted, and placed in a coffin in episodes of torture that lasted 15 days.
"I was put on Al Mayadeen and they made me say things I shouldn't have," he told MTV Lebanon.
"They wanted me to say I am revolting against Assad's apostate army and the Alawites and Shi'ites. They made me say it and then they believed it. But I reject all of this."
Sami Kleib, head of news for Al Mayadeen, said his correspondent was not complicit in the forced confession but was taken to the scene blindfolded, told he could film for just three minutes and could not ask his own questions.
22-year-old man dies after being hit by falling construction materials
Muslims in Istanbul to perform a funeral prayer in absentia following Friday prayer in Fatih Mosque for Ghulam Azam
Analysts examine new laws aimed at bringing undocumented workers out from the shadowy world of black-market labor.
Newspapers in Turkey have covered President Erdogan’s reaction to the US military’s help to Kurdish fighters in Kobani.
"Strong and balanced public finance affirmatively differentiates Turkey from other countries," the minister said
The Malaysia Airports Holding used its pre-emptive rights to buy an additional 40 percent stake in Turkey's Sabiha Gokcen Airport, it was announced.
The US acted despite opposition from Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, adding "I told him (Obama) Kobani is not currently a strategic place for you, if anything it is strategic for us"
At least 1 person injured in explosion in hospital’s medical waste section in Turkey’s capital, Ankara
The first and only Chinese-Turkish television channel CTV has begun broadcasting films, documentaries and Chinese cultural and traditional programs to promote Chinese economy, tradition and popular culture.
Sixteen scientists from Turkey to travel to Antarctica in Dec. 2014 and Jan. 2015.
Tight monetary policy stance will be maintained until there is significant improvement in inflation outlook, bank says.
Erdogan assures Latvian businessmen that the Turkish economy is stable and growing despite "smear campaigns"
According to the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, over 30 million tourists came to the country between January and September 2014
Finnish ambassador said that Finland’s relations with Turkey are good and if Finnish companies can offer anything in the field of renewable energy market and cleantech, Turkey would be a good market.
Majority of Thursday’s newspapers cover Turkish President Erdogan’s remarks on US weapon airdrop for Kurdish groups in Syrian border town of Kobani and Kurdish parliament’s approval for the deployment of peshmerga mission to the Syrian border town
Davutoglu has said the solution process with the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party can make progress towards a roadmap "within months."