Lebanon’s army says Saudi citizen kidnapped in Beirut released following ‘special operation’


Beirut (AP) — Lebanese troops rescued a Saudi citizen kidnapped over the weekend in Beirut, the army said Tuesday. The man reportedly had been held for ransom.

A statement by the Lebanese military said Mushari al-Mutairi was released in a “special operation” along the Lebanon-Syria border, where the kidnappers held him hostage. It gave no further details.

Al-Mutairi was kidnapped after midnight Saturday in Beirut.

State-run Saudi TV station Al-Ekhbariya said that the kidnappers demanded a $400,000 ransom for al-Mutairi, who works for Saudi national airlines Saudia.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in comments released by his office that the government is determined to guarantee the security of its citizens as well as foreigners.

Local Lebanese media reported that al-Mutairi was released during an operation by the army’s intelligence division in the northeastern district of Hermel.

Mikati congratulated the army on the operation’s success and called on Arab tourists to visit the crisis-hit country adding that Lebanon will not be used for any attack against Arab countries.

Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis since 2019. Three-quarters of its 6 million people have fallen into poverty.

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