Kidnapped Arsal resident was freed

An Arsal resident who was kidnapped by Islamist militants Monday afternoon was freed hours later, a security source said.

Militants allegedly allied with ISIS kidnapped Saleh al-Hujeiri from the area of Wadi Hmeid outside Arsal and took him to the town’s outskirts at 2 p.m. Monday. He was released at 8 p.m. that same day, according to the source.

The reason behind the kidnapping remains unclear.

The abduction comes one day after another man from the same family, Mustafa Hujeiri, was briefly kidnapped by alleged ISIS militants. The man was taken from a stone quarry outside Arsal before being released the same night.

The source said that the kidnapping indicates a dispute between the militants and the Hujeiri family.

The border town has been plagued with a recurring wave of kidnappings targeting residents of Arsal and nearby towns.

Earlier this month, tensions simmered between residents of the northeastern border town of Arsal and the adjacent Syrian village of Qara amid a spate of tit-for-tat killings and kidnappings involving residents of both areas.

Heightened tensions have risen in light of attempts by Arsal residents to take security into their own hands. They complain of the lack of state presence.

The absence of the military, which is only stationed across the northeastern border and areas surrounding the town, has led to a lax security situation as killings and kidnappings continue to burden Arsal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *