Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Estonian cyclists kidnapped in Lebanon are freed

All seven said to be in good health and safe at French embassy

Agence France Presse has reported today that the seven Estonian cyclists kidnapped in Lebanon earlier this year have been set free.

They are said to be currently under the care of the French Embassy in Beirut.

"All seven Estonian citizens kidnapped in Lebanon in March were freed early Thursday morning," the Estonian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Minna-Liina Lind told AFP.

"The operation to free them was carried out in cooperation with the Estonians, Lebanese and other partners. All of them are in good health. We are currently organising their transport to Estonia," she added.

The Beirut Star newspaper is reporting that the men were released at 8.30am local time in Sahl al-Taybbeh, near the Bekaa Valley town of Britel. Both settlements, the paper says, are Hezbollah strongholds.

Once released, a French delegation in the Bekaa took charge of the Estonians and transported them to their embassy in the capital..

The men, all in their thirties, went missing on March 23, shortly after crossing into Lebanon from Syria. A previously unknown group Harakat al-Nahda wal-Islah (The Movement for Renewal and Reform) subsequently claimed responsibility for their abduction.

Videos of the men appealing for help were released in the months after the kidnapping but no specific demands were made by the kidnappers.

The Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who visited the men this afternoon said: “They are in good health. They’ve had showers and have had a meal.”

The Beirut Star’s pictures of the, now bearded, men standing on a balcony at the embassy  appear to confirm the assessment that, physically at least, they have come through their ordeal without suffering any obvious ill affects.

Latest Comments

  • bigblue 42 min 5 sec ago

    Yes, genuine mail-ordered stuff (I assume, because it was from reputable shops) seems to sometimes come unboxed, sometimes boxed. I guess this is...

  • janusz0 1 hour 6 min ago

    I was out in my car today and joined a queue that followed a tractor with a trailer of "big bales" for about 5 miles today.  I was too far back,...

  • NOtotheEU 1 hour 7 min ago

    Agreed it's a s**tshow.  Lets hope that at least all parties involved don't want WWIII.

  • pockstone 1 hour 8 min ago

    Collisions between fast moving trains and cars tend to be 'short-lived'. It's the grief and misery thereafter that last forever. This bloke has got...

  • Sniffer 1 hour 9 min ago

    London Fire Brigade on Twitter: "Fires caused by sunlight can happen all year round, so keep mirrors, glass & reflective objects out of direct...

  • NOtotheEU 1 hour 24 min ago

    I've considered something similar to this but spring loaded. Pull it down into place until you filter then pull a lever on the bars to get it to...

  • Rendel Harris 2 hours 56 min ago

    I can offer free disposal services...

  • Rendel Harris 2 hours 58 min ago

    Never seen anyone riding like that with aerobars, ever! Sounds madly uncomfortable. Mine are about 70 mm deep at the deepest flat part, no problem...

  • Themadchemist 4 hours 42 min ago

    I've had 2 KMC chains fail on my campag 10spd equipped bike,probably 5yrs ago.. Fortunately they both broke within a mile of home and I was able to...

  • Awavey 5 hours 5 min ago

    especially when they can often take 4 to 5 of their 7 days just to send you the link to upload the clip, but the stats they publish, although they...