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Turks Leave Lebanon As Turkish Pilots Held Hostage

Gunmen in Lebanon were continuing to hold two Turkish Airlines pilots as hostages early on August 10, a day after kidnapping them just outside of Beirut’s international airport.

Meanwhile, Turkish citizens in Lebanon were making preparations to return to Turkey after Ankara warned against travel in the country.

The kidnappers want the release of nine Lebanese Shi’a who were captured in Syria by rebels.

The kidnappers claim the nine were on a religious pilgrimage in Syria when they were detained.

Lebanese media report that a previously unknown group called Zuwwar al-Imam Rida claimed responsibility for the August 9 abductions of the pilots.

Lebanese Shi'ite groups support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria’s rebels are predominantly Sunnis and are widely supported by Lebanon’s own Sunni community. Turkey also backs Syria's rebels.

Based on reports by AP, Reuters, and AFP