BEIRUT — A woman, her three children, sister and mother were kidnapped two weeks ago by a gang in Syria on their way back to Lebanon, the commander of the Joint Palestinian Force in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, Col. Abd al-Hadi al-Asadi, told L'Orient-Le Jour on Monday.
Asadi said that the kidnappers are demanding $15,000 for their release from the woman's husband, Mohamad Nasser Hojeir, a Palestinian from the Ain al-Hilweh camp who lives in Saida, South Lebanon.
The Joint Palestinian Force commander also said that they are trying to contact "whoever can help" to secure the family members' release.
Kamal Hojeir, brother of Mohammad Nasser Hojeir, told L'Orient-Le Jour's correspondent in the area on Sunday that the mother, who is Syrian, went to Syria two weeks ago to do some paperwork.
He also said that the kidnappers call the father every two days demanding the $15,000 and threaten to hurt the mother and her children.
Last week, the Lebanese Army announced it had rescued two Syrian children kidnapped nearly three months ago in the Bekaa Valley. And in April last year, the Lebanese Army freed three kidnapped people along the border with Syria, including Yemeni and Syrian nationals who had been lured from a hotel by their kidnappers.