The Lebanese army said, on Tuesday, on Twitter: “A patrol from the Intelligence Directorate managed to free the kidnapped Saudi Mashari Al-Mutairi, after a qualitative operation on the Lebanese-Syrian border.”
The Lebanese army announced in a statement on Tuesday that it had freed a Saudi citizen in a “qualitative operation” at the Lebanese-Syrian border, two days after he was kidnapped in Beirut.
The Saudi citizen was kidnapped on Sunday by unknown persons in the clothes of security forces in a four-wheel drive vehicle at the Beirut waterfront, where he was in a restaurant, according to a prominent security source, who told AFP on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Lebanese army said on Twitter: “A patrol from the Intelligence Directorate managed to free the kidnapped Saudi Mashari Al-Mutairi, after a qualitative operation on the Lebanese-Syrian border.”
He pointed to the arrest of a number of those involved in the kidnapping.
In a statement, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati praised the army’s “great effort” to release the kidnapped man.
He affirmed keenness “for the return of all Arab brothers to Lebanon and the prevention of any threat to them, in addition to preventing the use of Lebanese lands as a starting point for any action that threatens the security and safety of Arab countries.”
And the Saudi Al-Ekhbariya channel reported on Monday that the Saudi citizen works for Saudi Airlines, and the kidnappers demanded a financial ransom.
Although the incident is not the first of its kind, in recent years Lebanon has rarely witnessed kidnappings of Arab or foreign nationals.
The last such kidnapping dates back to July 2022, when a Saudi was kidnapped upon his arrival at Beirut airport.
In April 2022, the Saudi ambassador, Walid al-Bukhari, returned to Beirut, five and a half months after he was summoned to Riyadh following an acute diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and the Gulf countries, especially due to the growing influence of Hezbollah, the most prominent political and military force in the country supported by Tehran.