Turkey pilot kidnappers demand hostage release

Turkey pilot kidnappers demand hostage release
Fri Aug 9, 2013 20:30:19

Turkish pilot kidnappers have called for the freedom of some nine Lebanese hostages held in Syria in return for the release of the abducted pilots.

An unknown group claimed the responsibility for Friday's abduction of two Turkish pilots in capital Beirut.

The group demanded that nine Lebanese people taken hostage in Syria be released in exchange for releasing Turkish pilots, said Al Jadeed TV of Lebanon.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on his twitter account said that Ankara would leave no stone unturned to free the two pilots.

"News that came from Beirut in the early morning (Friday) overshadowed the happiness of Eid al-Fitr," Davutoglu said adding all attempts were made concerning the incident.

Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president also said "Contacts have been made immediately after the incident on which we have some predictions. I will also talk to Lebanese President. I hope the pilots will soon arrive home safe and sound."

On Friday, armed men kidnapped Turkish pilot Murat Akpinar and his assistant Murat Agca in Lebanon's Beirut city.

A shuttle including the pilot, the assistant pilot, and the crew of the Turkish Airlines plane which flew to Beirut from Istanbul was stopped by four gunmen on the way from airport to the hotel, Turkey's ambassador in Beirut Inan Ozyildiz told Anadolu Agency.

Following the abduction, Turkey called on its citizens to leave Lebanon.

"Give the current situation, our citizens should avoid traveling to Lebanon unless necessary," Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement, advising its nationals "to leave Lebanon if possible for their safety."



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