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.
Turkish Defense Minister says Ankara is ready to support material aid for those that will be forced to leave Mosul
Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu and his delagation reached New York to hold financial and regional talks. PM Davugoglu will address the UN General Assembly on Friday
Wednesday's dailies focus on Turkish President Erdogan's remarks on former intelligence chief Hakan Fidan's resignation to run in June election plus Turkish military aid delivered to Iraq in the fight against Daesh.
President Erdogan has said that if Saudi Arabia takes a step forward, then the situation in Egypt can be reversed.
HDP's co-chairman Demirtas says Turkish government wants to 'sell a dream of peace.'
From a major planned anti-Daesh operation to the Istanbul funeral of renowned Turkish author Yasar Kemal, Turkish dailies covered a wide array of issues on Tuesday.
'Safe Harbor Turkey' exhibition in Geneva shows how different communities have found shelter in Turkish territory throughout country's history.
Analysts say Turkey’s solution process has spurred confidence in international markets.
Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz says joint-US training program for Syrian opposition forces will be held in Turkey’s central province of Kirikkale.
Turkish EU and agriculture ministers attend mass opening ceremony for agricultural investments in Ankara.
Greek solar energy company official said preparing to invest in renewable energy and settled on the Kesan district as it is an organized industrial zone
Ismet Yilmaz has said " When the it comes to national interests, as assessment is made on this basis and to fulfill the responsibilities required to become members of the coalition "
Agreements with Baghdad and Northern Iraq authorize Turkish oil exploration in the country, Energy Minister Yildiz says.
With Armenians preparing for the 100th year of the killings, the diaspora is now taking aim at Turkeys investments, putting pressure on American business to withdraw their investments from Turkey
Over half a kilogram of explosives have been found by security in Hatay province under a car belonging to a Syrian citizen living in Turkey.
Abdullah Ocalan still exerts influence from his prison cell.