The State Department said Monday that an American citizen was briefly kidnapped in Lebanon and then was able to escape his masked captors.

The American was identified as Kenneth Wild, who had gone to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon in order to be married to his Lebanese fiancee. Wild was identified by the State Department as a private American citizen working in the Middle East for a commerical firm. His hometown was not known.According to Wild, he was captured by some masked kidnappers early Sunday and was held for several hours before he was able to overcome his captors and make his way to a Syrian military checkpoint in Lebanon.

The State Department, which expressed its appreciation for the Syrian cooperation, said that Wild was taken to Damascus and was still in Syria Monday.

Spokesman Charles Redman said, "The incident clearly underscores the danger of travel in Lebanon."

American passports are not valid for travel to Lebanon because of the threat of assassination or kidnapping.