Gunmen abduct two Turkish Airlines staff in Beirut

By REUTERS
August 9, 2013 11:39

BEIRUT - A Turkish Airlines pilot and his colleague were abducted in Lebanon on Friday by armed men who forced them from a bus driving from Beirut airport in the early hours of the morning.

The Turkish foreign ministry and the airline said they were in close contact with the Lebanese authorities but had no immediate information on who was behind the abductions or on the condition of the two airline staff.

Turkey, hoping to cement its role as a power in the Middle East, has supported rebels battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad and may have influence over fighters who captured Lebanese Shi'ites close to the Turkish border in northern Syria last year.

"We immediately contacted the Lebanese authorities at every level ... and they are conducting a very comprehensive investigation," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu said.

"As yet, we do not know who did it or for what purpose."


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