Syrian Violence Turns to Hostage Taking

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Hoping to send a message to President Bashar al-Assad's few remaining supporters in the country, Syrian rebels have adopted a new tactic of taking hostages -- Iranians and Lebanese Shiite Muslims.

Their latest captive is a lone Lebanese Shiite with suspected links to Hezbollah.

On Wednesday, armed Shiites in Lebanon claimed they had captured more than 20 Syrians and will hold them until the the Lebanese Shiite hostage is released.

The tit-for-tat hostage taking underscores the broader regional rifts exposed by Syria's civil war.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are Sunni powers, which are allied with the rebels. Shiite powers in Iran and its proxy Hezbollah are backing the Assad regime.

The abductions also point to a deepening crisis in Syria.

The United Nations estimates that 2.5 million Syrians have been injured or displaced since the conflict began and calls it an "ongoing humanitarian crisis."

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