Saudi national kidnapped in Lebanon freed in 'special operation'

A senior Lebanese security source said that unidentified assailants dressed as security personnel, driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle kidnapped him in Beirut


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Photo: AFP file
Photo: AFP file

Published: Tue 30 May 2023, 9:41 PM

A Saudi national who had been kidnapped in Beirut has been freed in a "special operation" by the Lebanese army near the border with Syria, the military said Tuesday.

Soldiers had also raided homes in Baalbek in connection with the abduction, as well as a location in the eastern city where the illicit stimulant drug captagon was being produced, the army said in a statement.

"An army intelligence patrol managed to free kidnapped Saudi national Mashari al-Mutairi during a special operation on the Syrian border," it said in a separate statement.

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi told a news conference nine people had been arrested over the kidnapping, and that Mutairi was "doing well".

The Saudi ambassador to Beirut, Walid Bukhari, thanked Lebanon for its efforts to swiftly free the man.

A senior Lebanese security source had told AFP late Monday that unidentified assailants dressed as security personnel and driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle had kidnapped the Saudi national on the Beirut seafront, where he had been in a restaurant.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati congratulated the army on the "great effort deployed to release him and arrest those involved in the kidnapping".

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