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Lebanon families of hostages in Syria picket Qatar embassy

After 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims were abducted in Syria, 50 of the relatives of those abducted are now picketing the Beirut embassy of Qatar, which backs Syria's anti-regime rebels, to demand the return of the abducted

AFP , Thursday 10 Jan 2013
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A group of about 50 relatives of Lebanese Shiapilgrims kidnapped last May in Syria on Thursday picketed the Beirut embassy of Qatar, which backs Syria's anti-regime rebels, an AFP photographer said.

"We are blocking the entrance to the Qatari embassy because we have asked for their assistance many times to ensure those kidnapped in Syria are freed. They have ignored us systematically," said Mona Termos, whose husband Ali Termos in among those being held hostage.

"Qatar is a main backer of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army," she added.

"The offices of the Qatari embassy in Beirut are now closed," read a poster held up by a protester.

The abductions of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were claimed by Abu Ibrahim, a strongman in rebel territory in northern Syria that claims affiliation to the main rebel FSA.

Local residents in his area, Aazaz, have described him as little more than a criminal.

Two of the Lebanese pilgrims have been set free so far, but nine remain in captivity.

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