Syrian militants release 5 captive Lebanese soldiers

Syrian militants release 5 captive Lebanese soldiers
Sun Aug 31, 2014 13:58:17

Syrian militants have released five Lebanese soldiers of a group taken hostage in early August, Lebanon's official National News Agency reported Sunday.

The soldiers were handed over to Sheikh Mustafa al-Hujeiri, an influential local in the north-eastern Lebanese town of Arsal overnight, the report said.

"The five are in a safe place in Arsal," al-Hujeiri told Lebanese broadcaster LBC. "They were released without anything in return."

They were expected to be reunited with their families later Sunday.

The soldiers were abducted following clashes that erupted on August 2 near Arsal between Lebanese security forces and militants linked to the terrorist group of ISIL and al-Nusra Front, which has ties with al-Qaeda.

Around 24 Lebanese security personnel are still being held by the militant groups, the Daily Star reported.

On Saturday, nine of the abducted soldiers were seen in a video, urging their relatives to block main roads in Lebanon to pressure the authorities into releasing imprisoned militants in exchange for their freedom.

"If the demand is not met, they will slaughter us in three days," one captured soldier said in the video, which was aired on some Lebanese broadcasters.

The violence broke out on August 2 in Arsal, which borders Syria, after the Lebanese military arrested a key leader of militant group of al-Nusra in the town.

Arsal is a main supply route for Syrian militant groups.


string(914) "[{"id":"1622981","sort":"3251099","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/14/alalam_635436390096874774_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Lebanon charges 43 insurgents over Arsal clashes"} ,{"id":"1625602","sort":"3251100","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/23/alalam_635444128012780169_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Geagea: Lebanon will be ISIL graveyard if they set foot in there"} ,{"id":"1626302","sort":"3251101","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/25/alalam_635445906532678336_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Nusra Front threatens to attack Lebanon prisons to free inmates"} ,{"id":"1626580","sort":"3251102","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/26/alalam_635446665715689549_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Lebanon calls for military assistance against radical militants"} ,{"id":"1627108","sort":"3251103","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/28/alalam_635448152231508951_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Lebanon shells terrorist positions in Syria border"} ]"