Sunday evening, the Lebanese National News Authority reported the kidnapping of Lebanese Forces coordinator Pascal Suleiman by armed assailants while traveling in the area of Byblos.

Suleiman, a Lebanese Christian, is the security services coordinator for the Lebanese Forces in the Jbeil (Byblos) area and was traveling home after a condolence visit, when his vehicle was blocked by a white Subaru. Four armed men got out of the Subaru, grabbed Suleiman and took him into their car.

According to the report, the friend with whom Suleiman was talking heard him plead with the abductors not to kill him, as he is a father of several children.

The Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV reported that Suleiman’s personal cell phone was later located on a road in the north of the country, but that report has not been officially confirmed.

Several Lebanese officials expressed concerns that Suleiman’s abduction could inflame the already tense situation in the country.

Lebanese Parliament member Ashraf Rifi spoke of the “unprecedented, difficult, and exceptional circumstances” in Lebanon in which the kidnapping took place, condemning the abduction as “suspicious.”

“In this bitter, unfortunate and dangerous reality, the kidnapping of the coordinator of the Lebanese Forces in the Byblos region, Pascal Suleiman, comes in suspicious circumstances.”

Rifi also called for harsh consequence for those responsible for the kidnapping.

Lebanese Forces supporters blocked the major roads in the Byblos area in protest of the abduction.

Samy Gemayel, the leader of the Christian Kataeb Party, called the kidnapping a “very dangerous development.”

The Lebanese Forces issued a statement after the announcement of Suleiman’s capture.

“The Lebanese Forces party calls on the associations of Byblos merchants, dignitaries, municipalities and mayors to close all shops in Byblos and the Byblos region on the coast, center and inventory tomorrow, Monday, in condemnation of the kidnapping of Ibn Jbeil (Byblos), Pascal Suleiman, and calls on parties and allied and independent personalities to stand united in condemnation and repelling any attack on public and private freedoms in Lebanon.”

Lebanese security services initiated a search for Suleiman under the supervision of caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Monday morning, the Lebanese army released a statement saying that four Syrians had been apprehended in connection to the kidnapping.

“Following the kidnapping of the citizen Pascal Sleiman on 2024/4/7, the Intelligence Directorate, after security monitoring, managed to arrest a number of Syrians involved in the abduction operation. The investigation is ongoing to determine the whereabouts of the hostage and the motives behind the operation.”

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