Lebanon ups Turks security after kidnap

Lebanon ups Turks security after kidnap
Sat Aug 10, 2013 14:07:25

Lebanon stepped up Saturday efforts to ensure the safety of tourists in the country, particularly Turkish nationals, a day after gunmen kidnapped two Turkish Airlines pilots leaving Beirut's international airport.

As a precautionary measure, a list of names of all Turkish tourists presently in the country was circulated to security and concerned agencies, a security source told The Daily Star.

In a further indication of the boosted security, Lebanese security forces accompanied a bus carrying Turkish tourists visiting the east Lebanon towns of Zahle and Baalbek, the source said.

Soldiers were deployed along the airport road after the abduction and police could be seen patrolling the Downtown Beirut area where the offices of Turkish Airlines and a Turkish cultural center are located.

Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar and his co-pilot Murat Agca were forced out of a shuttle bus at gunpoint at the Cocodi Bridge, less than a kilometer from Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, Friday morning.

A group claimed responsibility for the abduction, demanding the release of nine pilgrims who have been held by Syrian militant groups since 2012.

Families of the Lebanese have denied involvement in the abduction of the Turks but voiced support for any action that might bring their case to a close.


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