Freed Lebanese pilgrims recount ordeal

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Thursday, 24 October 2013

lebReleased Lebanese pilgrims who had been held captive by Takfiri militants operating in neighboring Syria say they were captivated for political reasons and treated inhumanely, Press TV reports.

In an interview with Press TV, Ali Zagheib, one of the nine pilgrims, talked about his ordeal and horrible experience during captivity at the hands of extremist kidnappers in crisis-hit Syria.

“We were kept in dangerous conditions. They accused us of being Hezbollah officials and showed us that they were torturing others for similar charges. I told them that their accusations are false,” he said, adding, “Today, I tell them that it was the resistance that had given us and all the Arabs our dignity and we will not sacrifice that.”

The pilgrims were being kept in a military camp and moved to explosive-laden areas at times, Zagheib said.

Ali Tormos, another freed pilgrim, also told Press TV that the Takfiri hostage-takers attempted to mentally torture them by constantly lying about their fate.

“They used to move us from one place to another and tell us you’d released soon. They tormented us to know that the hope of freedom was dying,” he said.

The Takfiri abductors would not provide the captives with enough food and medicine during their detention, said Tormos.

The nine Shia pilgrims returned home on October 19. They were freed as part of a swap deal for two Turkish pilots who were detained on the Lebanese soil in August.

They were part of a group of 11 people, who were held hostage after their bus came under attack by foreign-backed extremist agents in Syria’s northwestern province of Aleppo near the Turkish border in May 2012.

The Lebanese nationals, two of whom were freed earlier, were returning from a pilgrimage to holy sites in Iran.

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