Kidnappers free son of Lebanese businessman

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Kidnappers freed the son of a wealthy businessman before dawn Saturday, hours after his abduction from the eastern Lebanese village of Zahle led to clashes between security forces and gunmen suspected in the kidnapping, state news reported.

Four masked gunmen kidnapped Ibrahim Sakr, aged nine or 10, Friday morning from a car transporting him to school in what was suspected to be a kidnapping for ransom.

But Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) said the boy was released around 3:00 am Saturday without any exchange in money. The details of his release were not revealed.

The NNA had earlier reported that gunmen opened fire on a police station in the Bekaa Valley town of Britel, near Zahle, as army raided homes in search for Sakr.

Gunmen later attacked an army checkpoint in the village, the report added. No casualties were reported in either attack.

The incident comes as two journalists were released late-Thursday after being kidnapped one month ago from the eastern Ersal region near the Syria border.

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