Lebanese protest Syrian kidnapping of two farmers

May 31, 2012 15:38

BEIRUT - Angry residents in northern Lebanon built a sand roadblock across a main highway that crosses into Syria on Thursday, a day after unidentified gunmen kidnapped two Lebanese farmers in the country's north and took them across the border into Syria.

A Lebanese security source said the farmers' relatives blocked other roads in the area to protest the kidnappings and urge the Lebanese government to help release them.

Northern Lebanon has been used as a sanctuary for Syrian refugees fleeing a government crackdown on a popular revolt against President Bashar Assad that has left thousands dead over the past 14 months.

Syrian forces, who have strong links with the Lebanese army and border guards, have at times crossed into Lebanon, shooting and arresting refugees and opposition rebels before retreating back across the poorly demarcated border, residents say.

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