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Man Behind Estonian Kidnap Acted on al-Qaeda Orders: NNA

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(Corrects date of abduction in first paragraph.)

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- The mastermind behind the March 2011 abduction of seven Estonians in Lebanon is in police custody and acted upon orders from al-Qaeda in Iraq, the official National News Agency said today.

It said the 30-year-old man was also given orders to kidnap more foreigners even after the seven were released a few months later, the agency said, citing a police statement.

The Estonians were captured while cycling in eastern Lebanon. Two Lebanese soldiers were killed and several were injured in February when an army unit dispatched to make an arrest in the case was ambushed by gunmen in the eastern town of Ersal, according to an army statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Beirut at dabunasr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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