“We are full of hope that they will be freed by your (Libyan fighters’) hands and returned to their families,” Hezbollah said in a statement late Monday, the Associated Press reported.

It is widely believed in Lebanon that Imam Moussa al-Sadr, the founder of Lebanon’s Amal movement, was kidnapped on the orders of senior Libyan officials while on an official trip to the North African country in August 1978.

Accompanied by two of his companions, Mohammed Yaqoub and Abbas Badreddin, Sadr was scheduled to meet with officials from the government of the embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2008, Beirut issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi over Sadr’s disappearance.

Sadr’s family also addressed the Libyan opposition fighters in a statement on Monday saying, “We appeal to those who will take over in Libya after the collapse of the tyrant to give special attention to this case.”

Libya has been the scene of intense fighting between regime troops and fighters since a revolution seeking to topple Gaddafi began in mid-February.

The Libyan fighters swept into the heart of the capital Tripoli early Monday, and seized control of much of the city without facing significant resistance from regime forces.

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