BEIRUT: Two Turkish Airlines pilots kidnapped over two months ago in Beirut were handed over to Lebanese authorities Saturday, a security source told The Daily Star.
Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar and his co-pilot Murat Agca were snatched on Beirut’s airport road on Aug. 9 while the two headed to a hotel in the capital. Their abductors demanded the release of nine Lebanese nationals who were kidnapped by Syrian rebels in northern Syria in May 2012.
The release of the two Turkish nationals came as Lebanon braced for the return of the nine Lebanese, who were released Friday night and taken to Turkey.
The security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a Qatari jet was on standby at Rafik Hariri International Airport to return the two pilots.
Local media said the two Turks boarded a Lebanese Army helicopter at the Riaq military airfield in the Bekaa Valley, east Lebanon, and were headed to the Beirut airport.
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