Lebanese hostages in Syria to be released 'within hours'
BEIRUT - Reuters
Members of the Free Syrian Army walk as they carry rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at Bab Al Hawa in outskirts of Idlib, near the Syrian-Turkey border May 21, 2012. REUTERS PhotoLebanese hostages kidnapped in Syria will be set free "within hours", an Islamist cleric who is brokering their release said today.
"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.
The kidnapping triggered protests in Shi'ite areas of Beirut and raised fears it could ignite sectarian conflict in Lebanon.