Syrian Kidnappers Release Lebanese Hostage

by
Reuters
Syrian rebels released a Lebanese hostage on Saturday who was among a group of Lebanese Shi'ite pilgrims kidnapped after crossing into Syria from Turkey in May, a rebel source

Syrian Kidnappers Release Lebanese Hostage

Syrian rebels released a Lebanese hostage on Saturday who was among a group of Lebanese Shi'ite pilgrims kidnapped after crossing into Syria from Turkey in May, a rebel source said.

The source said the release of Hussein Omar, the first hostage to be freed, was a "goodwill gesture".

The kidnapping of the Shi'ite pilgrims inflamed tension in a country divided between friends and foes of the Syrian armed revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The kidnapping, with the abduction of another Shi'ite man this month in Syria, triggered abductions of Syrian activists in Lebanon in retaliation.

It revived memories of Lebanon's own civil war, reinforcing fears that the Syria conflict could trigger more instability in Lebanon, where Damascus has had a major influence over politics and security for decades.