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The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
04:09 PM Beirut time
22 °C
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Lebanon News
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Kidnapped son of Zein al-Atat released in east Lebanon
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BEIRUT: The son of the owner of a well-known herbal remedies company kidnapped last week was released over the weekend in east Lebanon.

The National News Agency said a mediator managed to help secure the safety of Ibrahim al-Atat, the son of Zein al-Atat. Al-Atat’s son was set free by the kidnappers near Hawsh Tal Safieh in Baalbek.

Al-Atat was kidnapped on June 21 by gunmen near the highway to the Bekaa Valley.

Security sources said al-Atat was driving his Hummer between the villages of Sofar and Mdeirej when a four-wheel-drive vehicle intercepted him at nighttime.

Three gunmen emerged from the four-wheel-drive, and forced Atat to step out of the vehicle before abducting him. They did not take the two other men in his car, Wael Abdul-Khaleq and Atat’s cousin Mahmoud al-Atat.

The sources said that the kidnappers drove off in the direction of Beirut.

Mahmoud al-Atat told a local television station that his cousin’s kidnappers claimed to be Army Intelligence personnel, adding that their faces were not covered.

According to local media, Zein al-Atat denied that any ransom had been paid to secure his son’s release.

Kidnappings have become increasingly common in recent weeks.

In one incident in mid-June, a Lebanese Army soldier was abducted from Beirut’s southern suburbs, taken to the Bekaa, and released a few hours later.

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