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The Lebanese army was able to free abducted Lebanese citizen Fouad Daoud following clashes with the kidnappers in tel Al Anyadh area of Bekaa , near the eastern borders with Syria

Daoud, 45, was kidnapped last week in the Bekaa city of Zahle. The kidnappers demanded $250,000 in ransom, even though Daoud is thought to be of limited financial resources.

The announcement by the Lebanese army comes after a statement by Zahle’s political and religious forces as well as the municipality and the Traders’ Association called for a daylong strike Thursday to protest Daoud’s kidnapping.

The Cabinet met Wednesday at Baabda Palace to discuss the kidnapping spree. Prior to the Baabda meeting , Prime Minister Najib Mikati discussed the issue with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi and senior security officers at the Grand Serail.

“The kidnap-for-ransom phenomenon hits the prestige of the state and [strikes at] the heart of stability,” Mikati told reporters at the end of the Grand Serail meeting.

“The security services must take stringent and precautionary measures to prevent the recurrence of such condemnable incidents,” he added.

Following the meeting Charbel told reporters that the Lebanese security forces will be able to put an end to the kidnappings within one week. He did not elaborate on how the security forces intend to do it

The latest of the kidnappings was that of Ali Ahmad Mansour, a 73-year-old wealthy financier, in east Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley Tuesday. His captors are demanding $15 million for his release, according to local reports.

Update: Voice of Lebanon reported that one of Daoud’s kidnappers was arrested by the Lebanese army

Update 2: Daoud was at the residence of Abbas Ello in tel Al Anyadh area of Bekaa, eastern Lebanon when he was freed by the Lebanese army

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