BREAKING: Syrian captors release Lebanese hostage: Jazeera

AFP , Saturday 25 Aug 2012

Syrian rebels release one of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims who was kidnapped in last May in an operation that triggered tensions between pro-Assad Alawites and anti-Assad Sunnis in Lebanon

One of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims taken hostage by Syrian rebels has been released and arrived in Turkey, according to a video aired by Al-Jazeera news channel on Saturday.

Hussein Ali Omar appeared in a video crossing the border into Turkey, and then speaking to the Doha-based channel praising his captors, insisting he and the others were "guests, not captives."

"We thank the brothers, rebels of Syria, for their treatment... We have been guests, not captives," he said in the footage.

"We call on the Lebanese people and the dormant Arab peoples, to stand up and support this oppressed people of Syria," he said.

The captors said in a statement that Omar was released as a "goodwill gesture" in response to a request by a group of Lebanese Muslim clerics.

The statement said that the fate of the remaining captives would be determined "after sending letters to countries neighbouring Syria." It did not elaborate.

Lebanese media had reported that four of the hostages were killed when a government warplane bombed the northern Syrian town of Aazaz earlier this month.

Short link: