Search Continues, Army Blocks Bekaa Valley Roads ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Lebanese army is conducting a search operation in the Bekaa Valley to find the seven cyclists who were abducted on March 23.

The army has set up a command center and several road blocks and made several raids on the Kfar Zabad region where the minivans with the kidnapped tourists were headed, according to the local witnesses.

"We hope to find them today," said an armed forces representative who requested anonymity, to nowlebanon.com.

After capturing the seven tourists, the three cars without license plates - two minivans and one Mercedes sedan - allegedly drove to the village of Kfar Zabad that hosts the base of the militant PFLP-GC group. This has given rise to the speculations that PFLP-GC captured the men to trade them for a member of the group recently detained in Kiev, Ukraine. However, PFLP-GC has denied any involvement in the abduction.

Member of Lebanese Parliament Ahmad Fatfat, speaking on radio earlier today, called on head of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to take responsibility for the situation. Fatfat said the incident is a serious sign of danger for the country, casting it "back into the 1980s," the time when kidnapping of tourists was quite common in the country torn by religious hostilities. However, Fatfat refrained from directly naming Hezbollah as organizer of the abduction.

Spokesman for Hezbollah Ibrahim Mussawi has told ETV that Hezbollah condemns kidnappings and has no information about who might have abducted the men.

 

Erkki Sivonen

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