Lebanese police search for kidnapped tourists

AP News
Posted: Mar 29, 2011 2:09 PM
Lebanese police search for kidnapped tourists

Lebanese officials said Tuesday that suspects in the abduction of seven Estonian tourists have opened fire on police.

The security officials say at least one police officer was wounded as police conducted raids in search of the missing tourists. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The tourists were cycling in the eastern Bekaa Valley when they were kidnapped last Wednesday.

Lebanon's leading LBC TV said security forces found the van used in the kidnapping.

It was not clear whether the kidnappings were politically motivated, like the wave of abductions during Lebanon's civil war. Kidnappings are far less common now.

In New York, Michael Williams, U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, appealed for the release of the cyclists. "No purpose is served by their further detention," he said. "We hope this is resolved and resolved soon."