Seven Estonians kidnapped in Lebanon freed

09:50, July 15, 2011      

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Seven Estonians who were released after being kidnapped in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley in March, wave from the balcony of the French embassy in Beirut July 14, 2011. The seven Estonian tourists kidnapped in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley in March were released on Thursday, Estonia's Foreign Ministry said. It said in a statement the seven cyclists, who were kidnapped after shortly crossing into Lebanon from neighbouring Syria, were in good health and were taken to the French embassy in Beirut. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Seven Estonian nationals kidnapped in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley region in March were freed Thursday morning, state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The seven Estonians were freed in the Bekaa Valley region of Arsal, close to the border with Syria, and to where they were snatched at gunpoint while riding bikes, NNA said.

The seven entered the country on cycles and were kidnapped near the Bekaa Valley city of Zahleh, east Lebanon.

Television reports said the Estonians were heading to the French Embassy in Beirut. The French authorities closely collaborated with Lebanon and Estonia to help release the cyclists.

Reports added Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will arrive in Beirut in the afternoon and meet his countrymen.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour confirmed the release, saying "with the release, we can now turn an ugly page in Lebanon. "

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