Nusra Front threatens to attack Lebanon prisons to free inmates

Nusra Front threatens to attack Lebanon prisons to free inmates
Mon Aug 25, 2014 20:06:13

Al-Nusra Front may resort to force to set free detained militants from Lebanon’s prisons, a senior commander of Nusra Front terrorist group told the Turkish Anadolu News Agency Monday.

“We may resort to the military option to release our detained [militants] from Lebanese prisons,” he said.

The Nusra Front is believed to be holding three Lebanese soldiers and 15 policemen, out of the total 29 security personnel and troops held captive by militant groups after the eruption of clashes in the northeastern border town of Arsal.

“We call for honest negotiations because it is the only solution,” said the Nusra Front commander, referring to negotiations with the Lebanese government over the release of abducted security personnel being held by the militant group.

The Muslim Scholars Committee had been mediating between the militant groups and the Lebanese government in an effort to secure the release of detained security personnel before announcing the suspension of its role Friday.

The militant’s demands remain ambiguous. The negotiations between Nusra Front and Lebanese government had come to an impasse because of militants’ excessive demands.

The government’s official stand over the militant dossier has been a “no-compromise” policy.

Several officials, including Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, repeatedly rejected the idea of offering concessions in return for the abducted soldiers, stressing that the release of militants from Roumieh prison was not on the table.

The suspension of the Muslim Scholar’s mediation efforts reflected the challenges in negotiating between the committee and the government; it was unclear which party, local or external, would resume efforts.

Militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are still holding 11 Lebanese soldiers, as well as the body of a deceased soldier. The Nusra Front still holds 15 policemen captives and three Army hostages.


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