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Who is the Saudi citizen kidnapped in Lebanon, rescued in army operation?

The kidnapping and swift rescue come at a time Lebanon is working to mend ties with Saudi Arabia.
A banner bearing the picture of former Lebanese premier Saad Hariri and a slogan in Arabic which reads "Allah, Hariri, Tariq al-Jdideh" and another depicting Saudi Arabia's King Salman (R) and his son Crown Prince Mohammed with a slogan "Beirut remains Arab despite the haters", hang on a street in the Tariq al-Jdideh neighbourhood of the capital Beirut, on April 27, 2022. - Lebanon's Sunni Muslim community is gearing up for May 15's parliamentary polls without strong leadership for the first time in decades

BEIRUT — A Saudi man kidnapped in Lebanon over the weekend was rescued in a military operation, Lebanon's armed forces announced on Tuesday.

In a statement published on Twitter, the Lebanese army said an intelligence unit carried out a “special operation” along the Lebanon-Syria border to find Saudi citizen Mashari al-Mutairi. It added that several people involved in the kidnapping were arrested.

Saudi Arabia’s state-run Al-Ekhbariya TV station reported on Monday that a Saudi national who works at the Beirut office of Saudi Arabian Airlines was kidnapped on Saturday night. The Saudi Embassy in Beirut confirmed the disappearance of the man, saying his family had lost contact with him on Sunday.

According to Al-Ekhbariya, a total of seven people, three of whom were wearing military uniforms, took Mutairi in a kidnapping involving two stolen cars. The station's correspondent in Beirut said she received information from security officials that the Saudi national was taken from the Biel area in the capital. He had just finished dinner when the kidnappers stopped him and took him with his car to the southern suburbs, the stronghold of the paramilitary Shiite Hezbollah group. The perpetrators used his personal phone to contact his family from the southern suburbs and asked for a $400,000 ransom.

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