BEIRUT (AP) — Nine Lebanese Shiite pilgrims held hostage in Syria for the past year and a half have arrived at Beirut's international airport.
That's according to a Lebanese security official. He spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday night as he wasn't authorized to speak publicly to journalists.
The release of the nine pilgrims was part of an ambitious three-way hostage release deal.
The deal also freed two Turkish pilots who were kidnapped by Lebanese gunmen in August as a means to pressure Turkey to help release the pilgrims.
It's unclear if the third part of the deal has been executed, which calls for the release several dozen women held in Syrian government jails. That was a key demand of Syrian rebels who were holding the Lebanese pilgrims.