Kidnapped Estonian cyclists "in good health"

Lebanese group seeks ransom for their release

by Mark Appleton   April 7, 2011  

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The group which claims to have kidnapped seven Estonian cycle tourists in  Lebanon’s Bekaa region has said the hostages are in good health.

The previously unknown Haraket al-Nadha Wal-Islah (Reform and Revival Movement) made the claim in an email to an Arabic language news website, Lebanon Files.

The movement had previously sent an email containing pictures of three of the captives’ identity documents and in the latest correspondence they demand a ransom to release the hostages.

While the precise whereabouts of the Estonians is unknown, the Lebanese authorities have arrested four people in connection with the kidnapping and are said to be seeking two more suspects.

The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, met the country’s Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati Wednesday.

Following the meeting Williams said: “I welcome the diligent efforts of Lebanon’s security forces and the Lebanese Army to uncover their whereabouts … I take this opportunity to once again appeal for their immediate release.”

As reported previously on road.cc, the Estonian cyclists were abducted on March 23 while riding through an industrial area close to the town of Zahle shortly after entering Lebanon from Syria, via the Masnaa border crossing.