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SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
06:58 AM Beirut time
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Lebanese hostages to be freed soon: activist
Released hostage Awad Ibrahim is carried on shoulders in Beirut's southern suburbs, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
Released hostage Awad Ibrahim is carried on shoulders in Beirut's southern suburbs, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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BEIRUT: The nine remaining captives in Syria will be freed prior or during Adha Eid next week, a human rights activist said, according to the National News Agency reported.

“I spoke to Abbas Shoeib, one of the hostages, and he told me negotiations may result in the freeing of the hostages very soon, during the Adha Eid, or even before,” Ali Akil Khalil, the ambassador of the International Organization for Human Rights, told the NNA.

Khalil said that he had a four minute phone call with Shoeib during which he told him the hostages were fine and in good health.

Khalil also quoted a mediator in the negotiations, called “Abu Mohammad,” as telling him that the negotiations involving former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Zahle MP Oqab Saqr have reached an advanced stage.

The activist said the mediator told him that a group of four captives will be freed prior to Adha Eid next week, while the remaining five will be free during the Eid.

In August, Khalil said that Abu Ibrahim, one of the kidnappers, had demanded that he hold negotiations with MP Saqr, from the Future Movement, or Col. Wissam Hasan, the head of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch.

Eleven Lebanese were kidnapped in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo shortly after crossing from Turkey on May 22 while on their way back to Lebanon from Iran, where they had been on a pilgrimage.

Negotiations have resulted in the freeing of two of the kidnapped, Hussein Ali Omar, who was freed late August, and Awad Ibrahim who was freed late September.

The kidnappers said they released the two hostages following mediation by the Committee of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon.

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