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Five Czech nationals missing in eastern Lebanon

Security officials had reported that their abandoned vehicle was found near Kefraya in eastern Lebanon,

Published: Updated:

A spokeswoman for the Czech foreign ministry said on Saturday that five Czech nationals and their Lebanese driver have been reported missing in eastern Lebanon, reported Reuters news agency.

Security officials had reported that their abandoned vehicle was found near Kefraya in eastern Lebanon, a popular destination for tourists in the wine-producing area.

A suitcase was found inside the Lebanon-registered car, containing their passports and some money in Lebanese lira and euros, leading to a security operation amid fears that the group was kidnapped.

The Czech foreign ministry knows the identities of the missing Czechs, however it would not release the information for security reasons, Michaela Lagronova of the ministry told Reuters.

She also added that Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomir Zaoralek, will be in contact with his Lebanese counterpart later on Saturday.

This is not the first time foreigners have gone missing in Lebanon. In 2011, Seven Estonians riding bicycles in the Bekaa Valley were kidnapped by masked gunmen and released after four months.