SIDON, Lebanon — Two West German relief workers kidnaped late Thursday in southern Lebanon were released at dawn today after being detained for six hours by unidentified gunmen.
Heinrich Struebig, 48, and Petra Schnittler, 26, arrived in a taxi at 4:30 a.m. at the headquarters of their West German relief agency, ASME Humanitas, which is located opposite a base for the Palestine Liberation Organization's mainstream Fatah group.
The pair were received by a Fatah commander who was waiting for them in a car equipped with a radio. The official paid the driver and ushered the freed West Germans into their compound.
"We don't want to talk to the press. Let them go away," the woman told the Fatah official.
Struebig and Schnittler were grabbed Thursday by three gunmen and bundled into a car in Sidon, a port 25 miles south of Beirut, witnesses said. Security officials said the kidnapers were seen driving toward an area controlled by the Shiite Muslim Amal militia.
Meanwhile, artillery fire from Muslim West Beirut and north Lebanon tore up Christian areas Thursday in violation of a cease-fire sponsored by the Arab League, but no casualties were reported, police said.