BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Kuwaiti national was freed by his kidnappers in Lebanon on Monday, state-run news agency KUNA said, and the man said he had been accused by his captors of funding the Syrian uprising.
Issam al-Houti was abducted in Lebanon’s Bekaa region on Saturday. KUNA had originally reported that his wife was also kidnapped but Lebanon said only Houti had been seized.
The kidnapping took place days after more than 20 Syrians and Turks were seized by a separate Lebanese group which is trying to negotiate the release of a relative inside Syria.
“The kidnappers accused me of funding the Syrian revolution,” Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai quoted Houti as saying after his release. He also said he had been severely beaten.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states advised their citizens last week to leave Lebanon because of signs violence was spreading there from neighbouring Syria, which is locked in a 17-month revolt.
Parts of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley have been beyond government control for years. A number of people have been kidnapped for ransom by criminal gangs there.