TALLINN - A video of seven Estonians kidnapped in Lebanon in March has been sent to their relatives, after two earlier videos were posted on the Internet, reports AFP. “A third video showing all seven Estonians kidnapped in Lebanon was sent to some relatives of the kidnapped via their email addresses three weeks ago,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Minna-Liina Lind said.
“We will not comment on what was said in it, because the video was sent to relatives this time and not posted publicly. But we can confirm that all seven Estonians are shown in the video,” she added.
The case has remained shrouded in mystery. Several people have been arrested in Lebanon in connection with the kidnapping but it is still not clear who ordered it, or where the hostages are being held. The Estonians were shown appealing for help in videos posted on the Internet on April 20 and May 20.
In the first, they called on the leaders of Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and France - but not Estonia - to help them. But they did not present any demands on behalf of their captors.
In the second video, they renewed their appeals for help, criticizing their government for abandoning them and saying they were in “great danger.”
Estonia’s efforts to free them have been hampered by the fact that the nation of 1.3 million has a limited diplomatic presence in the Middle East and no permanent officials in Lebanon.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has shuttled back and forth to Lebanon for talks with the authorities there. Estonia has also sought help from fellow European Union members and NATO allies, notably France, for logistical support.
The seven bicyclists were kidnapped in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon on March 23.