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Five Czech Citizens And Driver Go Missing In Lebanon

The Czech Republic says five of its citizens have gone missing in Lebanon, where authorities fear they may have been kidnapped.

A spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry on July 18 confirmed that the Czech citizens were missing.

A military source in Lebanon was cited by AFP as saying that authorities are searching for the missing individuals and their Lebanese driver, who are feared to have been kidnapped in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Lebanese media and a security source reported earlier in the day that that the missing individuals’ vehicle was found abandoned near Kefraya in eastern Lebanon, a wine-producing area east of the capital Beirut and west of the country's border with Syria that is popular among tourists.

Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova told reporters that officials are withholding the names of the missing Czechs in order not to jeopardize the investigation.

She said Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek planned to speak by telephone later in the day with his Lebanese counterpart.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP