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.
A Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Sao Paulo makes emergency landing in Casablanca.
President Erdogan has said that he plans to visit Iran but will be watching the developments in Yemen
Turkish dailies on Monday focused on the main opposition CHP party's interal primary elections.
The 300-million Turkish lira vessel will serve for at least 30 years.
Presidential system is the right thing for Turkey, says Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu
Armenian experts talking to The Anadolu Agency believe the two historically hostile countries could start a new phase after 2015.
Alimoglu said the NGO would occasionally dispatch doctors from Turkey to Gaza for difficult cases that Gazan doctors could not treat or that required competencies not available in the enclave.
Prosecutors said the Tuvalu-registered 5,095 deadweight tonne ship Kanton was being held in the Ukrainian port of Kherson. They said the crew could go to jail for up to three years and the ship could be seized.
Yalcin Akdogan said the support for the solution process is beyond AK Party’s electoral base.
Saudi King shares information with Turkish President about military operation and airstrikes against Houthis.
-Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci says Turks and Tatars have blood ties, and so need to further each others' interests.
Turkish dailies on Friday mainly focus on the latest developments on Tuesday's deadly plane crash in the French Alps plus the escalating crisis in Yemen
A campaign to train Syrian opposition forces to fight hardline ISIL militants, which was due to start this month, has been delayed by Washington, Turkey's foreign minister said on Friday.
The legislation has sparked fierce criticism from opposition parties who say the ruling AK Party is becoming more authoritarian. Members of Turkey's restive Kurdish minority say the law could be used to target them.
The rocket that was fired by Syrian government forces across the Turkish border on March 24 exploded in the Reyhanlı district of the southern province of Hatay.
Turkey's biggest and Europe's third biggest Synagogue unveils 46 years later over restored for Jewish population