Lebanon News

Kidnappers release doctor after 3-day abduction ordeal

BEIRUT: Kidnappers released a doctor Friday night after a three-day abduction ordeal, a security source told The Daily Star Saturday.

Saleh al-Shall was freed after his kidnappers brought him to the town of Douris via taxi in the city of Baalbek.

Shall, who is the medical director of the Ibn Sina Hospital in Baalbek, said that he was snatched from his farm in the town of Amchki on the outskirts of Lebanon’s eastern mountain range Tuesday at sunset .

"I was blindfolded, hands and legs were cuffed," he said.

The abductors also allegedly drove the doctor through a bumpy and winding road from one place to another during his capture.

His burnt-out car was discovered late Wednesday in the nearby town of Taybeh.

Shall said that the kidnappers demanded $500,000 in exchange for his release.

But he told them that he doesn't have that amount of cash and says nobody paid the ransom.

Shall's nephew told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that the abductors, whose identities remain unknown, backed down on the ransom after the mounting pressure to release the doctor.

Locals, officials and prominent figures in the eastern city flocked the doctor's house to check on his health after the incident.

The Shall family urged security forces to join efforts to fortify security in the city and put an end to the practice of abduction for ransom.

"Safety and security are only achievable in the presence of state and implementation of law," they said in a statement.

Demonstrators have held several protests have been denouncing the doctor’s kidnapping.

 

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