Kidnappers briefly seize 2 Germans in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, but are released

A Lebanese security official says kidnappers briefly seized two Germans in the country's eastern Bekaa Valley, but they were released.

He says the two were freed at dawn Saturday after being captured Thursday evening. He did not say how they were released. The official spoke anonymously on Saturday in line with regulations.

Lebanon's state news agency said a Lebanese soldier was killed in a firefight to arrest the kidnappers.

Lebanon's Bekaa Valley is dominated by powerful armed clans who often use hostage-taking as a method of resolving conflicts.

Lebanon is facing a growing phenomenon of businessmen being held hostage for cash. But it's unusual for foreigners to be seized.

The last major incident was in March 2011, when seven Estonian bike riders were abducted. They were released four months later.