Lebanese Shiite clansmen charged over abductions

AP News
Posted: Sep 18, 2012 9:39 AM
Lebanese Shiite clansmen charged over abductions

BEIRUT (AP) — A military prosecutor in Lebanon has charged six members of a powerful Shiite Muslim clan with forming an armed group and kidnappings.

Members of al-Mikdad clan recently took a Turkish businessman and more than 20 Syrians hostage in retaliation for the abduction of one of their family members inside Syria by rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Turkey has been hosting Syrian rebels and refugees.

The state-run National News Agency says the prosecutor, Sakr Sakr, on Tuesday charged six members of al-Mikdad family with plotting terrorist acts and kidnappings. All six, including the clan's spokesman Maher al-Mikdad, are in Lebanese custody. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

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The hostages have been freed last week in a raid by the Lebanese army.