BEIRUT: The Turkish Airlines pilots who were kidnapped in Beirut earlier this month are being held hostage in the east and the south of Lebanon, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported Monday.
Quoting sources, the state-run agency said the pilot is being held in the Sharawna neighborhood of the eastern town of Baalbek while the copilot was moved to the southern village of Zawtar after spending time in Beirut’s southern suburbs.
The agency added that two four-wheel drive vehicles with the same license plates kidnapped the pilots.
Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar and his co-pilot Murat Agca were abducted on their way to their hotel from Rafik Hariri International Airport on Aug. 9.
Shortly after the abduction on the airport road, a group calling itself Zuwwar al-Imam Ali al-Reda – “visitors to al-Imam Ali al-Reda” claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the two Turks and demanded the release of nine Shiite Lebanese held in Syria.
In May 2012, Syrian rebels abducted 11 Lebanese in Allepo’s Azaz. Two of the kidnapped have been released.
Three suspects have been arrested so far in connection to the kidnapping. They are relatives of Jameel Saleh and Abbas Shoeib, two of the nine Lebanese hostages being held by rebels.