BEIRUT: Three teens were briefly kidnapped and tortured over the weekend in the northeastern town of Arsal, the National News Agency said, with media reports linking the abduction to the Nusra Front.
The kidnappers, a group of Syrians and Lebanese, abducted the boys, all below the age 16, beat them up and broke their fingers after accusing them of stealing a motorcycle, the NNA said.
Media reports identified the kidnappers as members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, a radical group taking part in the Syrian war.
One of the boys was identified as Hasan Shaheen while the other two are from the Smaili family.
They were snatched from Arsal at around 9 p.m. Saturday and were detained for seven hours in the outskirts of Arsal. The boys were released Sunday at 4 a.m.
They were all transferred to Arsal’s field hospital for treatment.
The border town of Arsal hosts a large population of Syrian refugees in the country.
The outskirts of the town are also a hub for Syrian militants who were fighting in Syria but crossed into Lebanon after the Syrian government troops regained control of some Syrian border areas earlier this year.
Kidnappings and security incidents rose significantly in the Sunni-dominated town, where most residents oppose the Assad regime.
Islamist groups fighting in Syria have previously enacted savage punishments under the pretext of applying Shariah law.