Two Turkish pilots freed in Lebanon, state news agency says

Reuters

ISTANBUL, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Two Turkish Airlines pilots who were kidnapped in August in Lebanon were turned overto Lebanese security officials on Saturday and were expected tofly home later, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Pilots Murat Akpinar and Murat Agca were abducted two monthsago by relatives of one of 11 Lebanese hostages taken in May2012 by opposition fighters in Syria. Two of those hostages werereleased previously, and the remaining nine were freed onSaturday, paving the way for the Turkish pilots' release.

Turkey is seen as wielding considerable influence overrebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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