SAUDI ARABIA

Kidnapped Saudi citizen released 'in good health'; Lebanese army arrests 9 abductors

May 30, 2023
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari and Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi in a press conference on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari and Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi in a press conference on Tuesday.

Saudi Gazette report

BEIRUT — Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari confirmed on Tuesday that the condition of Mashary Al-Mutairi, the released Saudi citizen, is fine and that he is in good health.

The ambassador said that medical examinations were conducted on Al-Mutairi, who was kidnapped three days ago.

Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi announced that nine abductors had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of Al-Mutairi. He said in a press conference on Tuesday that the perpetrators will be dealt with sternly.

Al-Mutairi has been released in a military operation on the Lebanese-Syrian border, the army said on Tuesday.

“An intelligence unit freed Saudi citizen, Mashary Al-Mutairi, during an operation on the Lebanese-Syrian border. Several people who were involved in the abduction have also been detained,” the army said in a statement.

The army tweeted that a patrol team from the Intelligence Directorate freed the kidnapped the Saudi citizen after a qualitative operation on the Lebanese-Syrian border.

A local television quoted the Army Commander Joseph Aoun as saying that the army was able to free the Saudi citizen and arrest his kidnappers.

Assailants had kidnapped Al-Mutairi, who works for Saudi Arabian Airlines in Beirut, over the weekend and demanded $400,000 in ransom.

Lebanese officials said on Monday he was abducted around midnight Saturday on the road leading to Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport.

According to Lebanese media reports, seven people using two stolen vehicles kidnapped Al-Mutairi, and three of them were dressed in military uniforms to disguise themselves. The army identified four of them and raided their homes.

Ambassador Bukhari reposted a tweet that thanked the Saudi Foreign Ministry, Bukhari and the Lebanese Armed Forces for their efforts to secure the release of Al-Mutairi.

“The only thing awake in Lebanon is its army and its commander. The rest is ruined,” the tweet read while calling for all details and names of perpetrators to be released.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati commended the army’s efforts to secure the release of Al-Mutairi and arrest the perpetrators.

“We are keen on controlling the security situation and protecting Lebanese and foreign citizens in the country from any threats,” Mikati said in a statement.

“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,” he added.


May 30, 2023
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