[QODLink]
Middle East
Syrian group claims kidnap of Shia pilgrims
Armed "revolutionaries" from Aleppo say Lebanese hostages in good health and will be released after Nasrallah's apology.
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2012 03:52
Fighting between supporters and opponents of President Assad has recently flared in Lebanon [Al Jazeera]

A previously unknown armed group calling itself the "Syrian Revolutionaries - Aleppo Province" claims to have kidnapped a group of Lebanese Shia pilgrims in exchange for an apology from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

"The kidnapped Lebanese are being looked after by us and are in good health," the group said in a statement received by Al Jazeera.

"Negotiations for their release are possible as soon as Nasrallah apologises ... Our problem is not with any particular community but with those who assist in the suppression of the uprising."

Hezbollah, the leading force in the current ruling coalition in Beirut, has close relations with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.

Since the dozen or so returning pilgrims went missing on May 22 on their way back from Iran, Nasrallah has called for restraint and urged his followers to refrain from sectarian revenge attacks against Syrian Sunnis.

On Sunday, the outgoing head of the opposition Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, said the pilgrims were still being held in Syria. Earlier reports said they had resurfaced in Turkey.

"We spoke with some parties who had contacts with the group and we offered our assistance to have them freed," Ghalioun said.

The rebel Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of armed groups that communicate with the SNC, has denied any involvement in the kidnapping.

219

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.