Lebanese rally outside Qatar embassy

Relatives of Lebanese pilgrims abducted in Syria hold a demonstration in Beirut. (File photo)

The relatives of nine Lebanese people kidnapped in Syria have gathered outside the Qatari embassy in Beirut to demand Doha mediate the release of the abductees.

The people gathered outside the embassy at about 7:00 a.m. local time on Thursday. They blocked the entrance to the Qatari mission.

In 2012, eleven Lebanese people were kidnapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo on their way back from a pilgrimage in Iran. Two of them were released in August and September. The rest of the people are still held by the militants in Syria.

The protesters said the demonstration would continue until the end of the working hours on Thursday.

Hayat Awali, a relative of one of the abductees, said the protest was only the beginning. “We are here to say that we will no longer remain silent and today’s step is just the start of more protests.”

The relatives of the Lebanese abductees have also pledged to hold more demonstrations in 2013 in order to call for increased pressure on governments that support the militants in Syria.

Similar demonstrations have also been planned to be held outside the Turkish embassy in Lebanon and Turkish companies affiliated with the government in Ankara.

On January 2, protesters gathered outside the offices of Turkish Airline in Beirut, putting a wax seal on the entrance to avoid the staff from entering the building.