Lebanese hostages in Syria to be released “within hours”: cleric

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Lebanese hostages kidnapped in Syria will be set free “within hours”, said an Islamist cleric who is brokering their release.
“The process is in its final stages, they will be released within hours God willing,” Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zoaby told Reuters.

A dozen Lebanese Shi’ite men were among a group of pilgrims returning to Lebanon from Iran when gunmen stopped their bus after it crossed into Syria from Turkey. They released the women and kept the men, Reuters reports.

The kidnapping triggered protests in Shi’ite areas of Beirut and raised fears it could ignite sectarian conflict in Lebanon.