The Lebanese army reported on Tuesday that a Saudi national who was kidnapped in Lebanon over the weekend has been freed as a result of a special operation carried out near the Syrian border.
While speaking to reporters, the army spokesman said, “An intelligence unit freed a Saudi citizen, Mashary al-Mutairi, during an operation on the Lebanese-Syrian border. Several people involved in the abduction have also been detained”.
In another statement made by the interior minister of Lebanon, Bassam Mawlawi, nine people were detained in connection with the kidnapping.
However, reports received from the Lebanese News media says that Al-Mutairi was taken hostage by seven individuals driving two stolen vehicles, three of whom were disguised as soldiers.
The assailants abducted al-Mutairi, and demanded a $400,000 ransom.
According to the army, four of them were identified, and their residence invaded.
In a swift public appearance, Najib Mikati, the interim prime minister of Lebanon, praised the army’s efforts to free al-Mutairi and capture the criminals.
He said, “We are keen on controlling the security situation and protecting Lebanese citizens and foreign citizens in the country from any threat.”
He continued, “We are also keen on working toward the return of all Arab brothers to Lebanon… and on preventing the use of Lebanese territories as a launchpad for practices that threaten the security and safety of Arab countries.”
On Monday, Lebanese authorities stated that he had been kidnapped after midnight on Saturday on the route leading to Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut.
Al-Mutairi is an expatriate who works for Saudi National Airlines in Beirut.