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Army Carries Out Raids in Several Areas, Arrests Suspects

The Lebanese army detained several suspects for carrying out terror-linked acts, including a Syrian national, who was infiltrating into the northeastern border town of Arsal.

The army said in a communique issued on Saturday that Syrian national Mohammed Mustapha Mustapha was detained while trying to infiltrate illegally into Lebanese territories by evading checkpoints.

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Ghanem Urges Election of President for Breakthrough on Electoral Law

MP Robert Ghanem, head of the electoral subcommittee, stressed on Saturday that the elections law will not be adopted before the election a new president, who should have certain characteristics.

Ghanem expressed hope in an interview with An Nahar newspaper that the rival parties reach a settlement over the presidential deadlock, considering that the subcommittee's meetings are to facilitate any parliamentary session set to vote on an electoral law immediately after the election of a new head of state.

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Masri Warns Collapse of Negotiations with Islamists Threatens Lives of Hostages

Salafist cleric Wissam al-Masri warned on Saturday that the failure to strike a deal with the Islamist militants, who are holding several Lebanese soldiers and policemen captive, threatens the lives of the servicemen, revealing that he will head to the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal soon.

“We are exerting all efforts to resolve the case,” Masri said in an interview with As Safir newspaper, expressing belief that the servicemen “will not be well if the negotiations collapsed.”

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Report: Apprehension of Terrorists to Impact Case of Captive Servicemen

The arrest of prominent leaders of the Free Syrian Army and the al-Qaida-affiliate Nusra Front weakened the two groups, which prompted several fighters to defect them and pledge allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), media reports on Saturday.

According to a report published in As Safir newspaper, ISIL would eventually be compelled to engage in a large-scale battle with the Lebanese Army and Hizbullah.

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Berri Pessimistic on Adoption of New Electoral Law

Speaker Nabih Berri expressed pessimism on Saturday regarding the new electoral law, considering that the rival parties will not reach consensus over the matter.

“I expect that the 1960 electoral law to remain for a long time,” Berri's visitors quoted him as saying in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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U.N. Asks Israel to Pay Lebanon $850 M for Oil Spill

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday asking Israel to pay Lebanon over $850 million in damages for an oil spill caused by an Israeli air force attack on oil storage tanks during its war with Hizbullah in July 2006.

The assembly voted 170-6 in favor of the resolution, with three abstentions. Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, Micronesia and Marshall Islands voted "no."

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Jumblat Urges IS to 'Appreciate' His Stance, Says Won't Give Up Efforts for 'Swap Deal'

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat responded Friday to a threat from the Islamic State group that held him along with two other top Lebanese leaders responsible for the possible execution of three of the captive Lebanese servicemen.

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2 Syrians Held for Attacking Army in Arsal Clashes

The army on Friday arrested two Syrians in the Bekaa region on charges of involvement in the deadly August clashes in the northeastern border town of Arsal, in which several troops and civilians were killed.

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IS Threatens to Execute Soldiers Held Hostage, Slams Hizbullah 'Allies'

A French-speaking jihadist threatened Friday to execute Lebanese soldiers held hostage by the Islamic State group, saying three prominent anti-IS Lebanese politicians would be responsible for their deaths.

The threat was made in a video Agence France Presse obtained from a Salafist cleric, Wissam al-Masri, who is mediating the release of 25 police and soldiers held by IS and the Syrian branch of al-Qaida the al-Nusra Front.

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Al-Rahi Asks Religious Court Judges for Speedy but Fair Trials

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi called on Friday on the judges of spiritual courts to speed up religious trials but issue fair rulings by preserving justice.

“It is up to the judges to achieve justice, which is the essence of peace,” al-Rahi told the judges during his yearly meting with them in Bkirki.

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