Three detained in Lebanon kidnapping case

  • 2011-03-31
  • TBT Staff

Seven Estonian tourists were kidnapped while cycling in Lebanon on March 23.

TALLINN - Lebanese police have detained three people believed to have been connected to the high-profile kidnapping of seven Estonian tourists in Lebanon last week.

Police also claim to have found the van used in the kidnapping, though the abducted tourists have not yet been found.

"Today the Lebanese armed forces apprehended three individuals who are tied to the abduction of the Estonian citizens," the Estonian foreign ministry said in a press release.

Chief of Lebanon’s internal security forces Major General Ashraf Rif called on the organizers of the kidnapping to give themselves up and free the tourists, the Estonian foreign ministry said.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet is currently in Lebanon, where he is working alongside the Lebanese police to track down the kidnapped tourists.

“The president, interior minister, chief of the armed forces, and others all confirmed that Lebanon is doing all it can to solve this kidnapping and free the Estonian citizens,” Paet said.

Seven Estonian citizens were cycling near the town of Zahle in eastern Lebanon on March 23 when masked gunmen pulled up beside them in a van and forced them inside. Motives behind the kidnapping are not yet clear and no demands for their release have been made.