Hezbollah has called for calm after 13 Lebanese pilgrims were reportedly seized by Syrian rebels. The alleged kidnappings have prompted unrest in the Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut that is home to many of the men.
However sources within the Free Syrian Army have denied any knowledge of the affair.
Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah made a radio broadcast saying: ‘‘We call on everyone to be restrained, completely and truly. We can express our stance in civil and peaceful ways and we are going to work night and day so we can have those loved ones back among us.’‘
The main road to Beirut airport was blocked with burning car tyres by friends and relatives of the missing men.
Nasrallah criticised the move saying: “What happened a short time ago, cutting off roads, we honestly don’t want any side to take advantage of that to stir trouble with the Lebanese army or the security forces and drag the country into a different place which is not in line with this humanitarian case which is the release of those who have been kidnapped.’‘
The men were returning from a Shi’ite pilgrimage to Iran when their bus was apparently held up in Aleppo in northern Syria.
Syrian government forces are now said to have launched raids in the area and are combing districts in nearby Azaz.