Syria’s main opposition coalition condemned the kidnappings.
“The Syrian National Council expresses its deep dismay at the kidnapping of a large number of Syrian citizens, who had fled to Lebanon to take refuge from bloody oppression in their country,” it said in a statement.
Lebanon’s sectarian makeup has Shiites mainly supporting al-Assad’s regime and Sunnis supporting the insurgents.
Syrian activists in Lebanon called via Facebook for fellow Syrians who fled the bloodshed for what should have been a safer haven to “stay home [and to] avoid areas where violence could break out.”
Syria occupied Lebanon militarily and politically for nearly three decades until 2005, when its troops were forced to pull out under international pressure after the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri that year.
Seven years after Syria withdrew from Lebanon, the country’s political forces remain sharply divided over events in their neighbor.