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MIDEAST > Kidnapped Turkish pilots appear on Lebanese TV

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A combo made up of image grabs taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on October 15, 2013, shows news footage from Lebanese television channel LBCI airing a video recording of the two Turkish Airlines pilots Murat Akpınar (L) and Murat Ağca, who were kidnapped in Beirut in August 2013. AFP photo

A combo made up of image grabs taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on October 15, 2013, shows news footage from Lebanese television channel LBCI airing a video recording of the two Turkish Airlines pilots Murat Akpınar (L) and Murat Ağca, who were kidnapped in Beirut in August 2013. AFP photo

A Lebanese broadcaster has released video footage showing two Turkish pilots who were kidnapped in a majority Shiite area of Beirut on Aug. 9. 

In the brief video footage, the two pilots say they are in good health.

"My name is Murat Akpınar. Today is Oct. 14, 2013. There is only one day left until the bayram [Eid al-Adha]. I would like to be at my home. I'm fine," said Akpınar in English.

The other pilot, Murat Ağca, said, "I really miss my family, my children and my country." Ağca later read a verse from the Quran.

The pilots were kidnapped on Aug. 9 in a majority Shiite area of Beirut that is controlled mainly by the powerful Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a close ally of President Bashar al-Assad. They are still being in captivity despite the efforts of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) to secure their release.

A group calling itself the Zuwwar Imam al-Rida claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The group has demanded Turkey use its influence with Syrian rebels to secure the release of nine Lebanese Shiite pilgrims kidnapped in Syria in May 2012.


October/15/2013

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