Kidnapped Turkish pilots freed in Lebanon

AFP , Saturday 19 Oct 2013

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency says two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon have been released and handed over to Lebanese security officials.

The Turkish Airlines pilots were abducted in Beirut in August to pressure Turkey into helping secure the release of nine Shiite pilgrims who were kidnapped by rebels in Syria in May 2012. Turkey is thought to have close ties to some Syrian rebel groups.

The Turks' release is part of a negotiated hostage deal that included the freeing of the kidnapped pilgrims, as well as dozens of women held in Syrian government jails.

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