BEIRUT – A previously unknown Syrian rebel group says it's holding 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims kidnapped in Syria.
The pilgrims were abducted on May 22, after crossing into Syria from Turkey on their way to Lebanon.
The group calling itself Syrian Rebels in Aleppo said in a statement obtained by Al-Jazeera TV that the hostages are in good health.
The statement included photographs said to be of the hostages and their passports. Al-Jazeera, which aired the photos Thursday night, did not say how it obtained the statement. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.
The group claimed five hostages were members of the militant Hezbollah group and demanded its leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah apologize for saying last week the kidnapping would not change his group's pro-Syrian stance.