BAALBEK, Lebanon: Four Lebanese and a Syrian national were kidnapped Monday in connection with smuggling weapons into Syria, according to security sources. The National News Agency said the incident took place in the area of Hawsh Sayyed Ali in Hermel.
It said armed men wearing military fatigues and driving three vehicles with darkened windows and without license plates entered an establishment belonging to the Tufeili family, making off with the five individuals at gunpoint.
They were named as Sami Ali Tufeili, his brother Mahdi, Ali Fadel Tufeili, Hassan Kheireddine, and Mohammed Ajaj, a Syrian who worked for the Tufeili family.
Security sources told The Daily Star that the kidnapped men were believed to be connected to smuggling arms to Syrian rebels.
Separately, the NNA said that Shehadeh Izzeddine filed a complaint with Baalbek police claiming that his son, Mazen, 26, had been kidnapped by an unidentified number of men. Izzeddine said that his son was carrying $4,500 on him at the time of the incident.
A wave of kidnappings has plagued the northern Bekaa in recent months, often carried to collect ransoms.