Two pilots kidnapped in Lebanon alive: Turkey

Ankara: Turkey on Monday said the two pilots kidnapped in Lebanon earlier this month are alive, and that it knows roughly where they are.

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2013, 09:54 AM IST

Ankara: Turkey on Monday said the two pilots kidnapped in Lebanon earlier this month are alive, and that it knows roughly where they are.

The Turkish Airlines pilots were kidnapped on August 9 when gunmen ambushed a bus carrying the national airliner`s crew from Beirut airport to a hotel in the city.

"Their whereabouts are more or less known. We know that they are alive, in peace and comfort," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

"I hope we will reach them soon," he added.

The two Turkish Airlines pilots were kidnapped on August 9 after gunmen ambushed a bus carrying the national airliner`s crew from Beirut`s international airport to a hotel in the city.

A previously unknown group calling itself Zuwwar Imam al-Rida has claimed the kidnapping, demanding Turkey use its influence with Syria`s rebels to secure the release of nine Lebanese Shiites kidnapped in Syria in May 2012.

Lebanese authorities have arrested three suspects and charged them in connection with the abduction.

The pilots were kidnapped in a majority Shiite area of Beirut, controlled mainly by the powerful Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a close ally of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has denied any involvement in the kidnapping.

AFP