Syrian rebels set free one of 11 Lebanese pilgrims

August 26th, 2012 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Beirut, Aug 26 (IANS) One of 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped by armed men in Syria since May has been set free, officials said.

Hussein Ali Omar, who was just freed, touched down at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri airport Saturday, Xinhua reported citing the National News Agency.

The 60-year-old Omar, who looked in good health, said: “We were treated well and the remaining 10 Lebanese are in good health. I call on the Turkish government to exert efforts to free the remaining Lebanese in Syria and I thank the Lebanese media.”

The 11 Shia Muslim pilgrims were kidnapped May 22 in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo upon their return from a pilgrimage to Iran.

Al Jazeera TV channel broadcast a video showing Omar crossing the border into Turkey, and said he and the others were treated as “guests, not captives”.

Mohammed Nour, a spokesman for the Syrian rebels, said in a video that the fate of the other abductees will depend on the stance of the countries neighbouring Syria and other Arab states over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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