Lebanon’s state news agency said armed gangs kidnaped 12 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims near the Syrian town of Aazaz, which is on the border with Turkey. The Lebanese were back to Lebanon from a trip to religious sites in Iran.
According to Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV channel, the armed gangs asked the men to leave the buses and took them to unknown destination, while allowing the women to go.
Hayat Awali, who identified herself as a passenger, told Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV from Aleppo: "When we crossed the border around 40 gunmen stopped the bus and forced it into a nearby orchard and said women should stay on the bus and men get out."
Lebanese security as well as Syrian officials confirmed the kidnapping, but it was not immediately clear who had kidnaped the group.
Spokesmen of the Free Syrian Army denied any responsibility for Kidnapping and blamed unknown armed gangs for this, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights website.
As news of the kidnapping spread, angry protesters gathered in the Beirut southern suburb (Dahiyeh) blocked several roads, including the old airport road, with burning tires and shots were heard in several areas of Beirut.
Meanwhile,, leader of , which dominates the Lebanese government, went on Al-Manar television to urge protesters to exercise self-restraint and said that nobody should resort to violence.
“I call on everyone to show restraint… It is not acceptable for anyone to block roads or carry out violent acts,” Nasrallah said.
“We will work day and night until those beloved are back with us… The Lebanese state and government have a responsibility to work toward the release of those kidnapped,” he added, Al-Manar TV reported.
The names of the kidnapped men according to Al-Manar TV : Abbas Shoaib, Hassan Mahmoud, Hussein al-Siblani, Ali Abbas, Abu Ali Saleh, Mahdi Ballout, Hussein Arzouni, Hussein Omar, Mustafa Yassine, Mohammad Monzer, Awad Ibrahim, Ali al-Ahmar, Ali Zgheib, Rabih Zgheib, Ali Termos and Ali Safa.