Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon

Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon
Fri Aug 9, 2013 13:36:55

Gunmen have kidnapped two pilots working for Turkish Airlines on Beirut's airport road, Lebanon's Interior Minister Marwan Charbel says.

"A kidnapping operation took place at 3:00 a.m. targeting a bus carrying several members of a Turkish Airlines crew going from the airport to the hotel," Charbel said on Friday.

"Gunmen kidnapped two passengers from the bus, the pilot and co-pilot," he added.

Lebanese sources said four gunmen were involved in the kidnapping, and that seven other passengers on the bus were not targeted.

Charbel said he had spoken with Turkey's ambassador to Lebanon and that an investigation was under way, including questioning the bus driver.

In the wake of the incident, Lebanese soldiers deployed in the area, with two armored personnel carriers stationed by the roadside where the kidnapping took place.

In Turkey, the kidnapped men were named as pilot Murat Aktumer and his co-pilot Murat Agca.

Speaking to Turkish television, Ankara's ambassador to Beirut Inan Ozyildiz said "the case is being followed closely" and that he was working with "Lebanese forces to free the two pilots."


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