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Al-Jadeed ( New ) TV reported that the kidnappers are demanding, before agreeing to a new round of talks, that Hezbollah condemn the Syrian regime.

This comes after Syrian Human rights activist Haitham al-Maleh said in remarks published in As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that the 11 Lebanese men who were taken hostage in Syria last week would not have been abducted if they had not been Hezbollah members.

“The men would have not been abducted if they had not been Hezbollah members and if jamming devices and binoculars had not been found with them . I gave my opinion on the matter, which is not to not release ,” Maleh said.

Maleh, the former Syrian National Council leader called on Hezbollah “to stop sending fighters [to Syria] to help the regime commit massacres,” adding that he expected the issue of the hostages will “to take time before it comes to an end .”

Hezbollah is a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, where a predominantly Sunni uprising is trying to oust the Assad family dynasty. The families of the kidnapped Shiites blame Syria’s Sunni rebels for abducting the men.

“The kidnapping is clearly intended to drag Hezbollah into the Syrian quagmire,” said Ziad Baalbaki, a 37-year-old Lebanese insurance broker in Beirut. “The whole thing is fishy, everyone is worried what will happen if they are not released or they turn out to be dead.”

The Lebanese men were on their way back from a pilgrimage in Iran on May 22 when gunmen intercepted their buses in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, according to the women on the pilgrimage who were allowed to go free and arrived in Lebanon hours later.

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