Kidnapped Turkish Airline pilots freed

Two Turkish Airlines pilots kidnapped by militants in Lebanon were freed on Saturday.

The two pilots, Murat Akpinar and Murat Agca who were kidnapped in Beirut in August, were flown by private jet out of Beirut International airport on Saturday night.

Their release was brokered in a three way deal which included the release of 9 Shiite pilgrims who had been kidnapped last May on their way home from Iran to Lebanon and dozens of women held in Syrian government jails.

The pilgrims’ kidnapping initiated a set of tit-for-tat kidnappings by Shiite clansmen inside Lebanon, including that of the two Turkish pilots. The gunmen intended to pressure Turkey to help release the pilgrims.

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