Ransom Paid to Free Beirut Kidnap Victim

Associated Press

A wealthy Lebanese-American kidnaped four days ago was freed unharmed today after his family paid a "sizable ransom," police said.

Jack Seikaly, 50, smiling and clean-shaven, told reporters at his home in Muslim West Beirut: "I'm fine."

He refused to discuss his kidnaping or be photographed.

Police said kidnapers freed Seikaly, who runs a printing house and owns real estate in Beirut, after his family paid a ransom. Police declined to say how the money was handed over.

Seikaly "was set free early in the afternoon," a police official said. The official would not elaborate.

Seikaly, who holds dual citizenship, is an uncle of Syracuse University basketball star Rony Seikaly.

There was no claim of responsibility for his abduction.

Seikaly was kidnaped Friday near Beirut University College in Muslim West Beirut. Three Americans and an Indian were abducted from the college Jan. 24 by a group that has threatened to kill them unless Israel releases 400 Arab prisoners.

Seikaly's son Joe said Saturday that his father had been released. He apparently made the statement to divert media attention and allow for negotiations to free his father.

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