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Hostages Families Call for Swap as Police Open Masnaa Road

The security forces reopened on Tuesday the Masnaa road that leads to the border crossing with Syria in eastern Lebanon after it was blocked by the families of the troops and police taken hostage by jihadists.

The relatives are blocking other roads that are major arteries in northern Lebanon and the eastern Bekaa Valley.

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Arsal Roadside Bombing Death Toll Rises to Three

The death toll in an attack on an army patrol in the northeastern border town of Arsal earlier this month rose to three on Tuesday, the military announced.

The army said in a communique that soldier Mahmoud Ali Fadel, who had been injured in the roadside bombing, succumbed to his injuries on Monday night.

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Report: Geagea Shunned Helou but Jumblat to Contact LF Chief

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has so far excluded Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea from his visit to top Lebanese officials after the latter refused to hold talks with presidential candidate Aley MP Henri Helou, a report said Tuesday.

Helou, who is the centrist PSP's candidate for the presidency, had contacted the LF leadership to set a date for a meeting with Geagea, al-Akhbar daily quoted PSP officials as saying.

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Ibrahim Says Case of Arsal Hostages on Right Track

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has said that the negotiations to secure the release of the so-called Arsal hostages were on the right track.

Ibrahim told As Safir daily in remarks published on Tuesday that there was progress in the talks aimed at setting free the soldiers and policemen taken captive by jihadists from the northeastern border town of Arsal last month.

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Tehran Promises Military Assistance to Lebanon

The head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, who is in Beirut on a one-day official visit, said Tuesday that Tehran will provide military assistance to Lebanon.

Ali Shamkhani made the announcement following talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail.

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Bassil: Netherlands to Support Army with Weapons Worth $2.3M

The Netherlands has promised to assist the Lebanese Army with weapons worth 2.3 million dollars, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil announced on Monday.

“We discussed with the Dutch foreign minister means to counter terrorism in the region. We also discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries and how to develop them,” Bassil stated on his Twitter account after a meeting with his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans in The Netherlands.

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Kataeb Says 'Necessary Legislation' a 'Suspicious' Move, Slams Syrian Opposition Remarks

The Kataeb Party on Monday warned against approving draft laws under the slogan of “necessary legislation” amid the current presidential void, as it deplored a recent Syrian opposition statement accusing the Lebanese army of abuse against refugees.

The party “warns against any parliamentary course that might lead to legitimizing the presidential vacuum, which would violate the simplest rules of democracy, constitutional norms and the requirements of national coexistence,” Kataeb said in a statement issued after its politburo's weekly meeting.

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Syrian Man Indicted on Terrorism Charges

Military Examining Magistrate Judge Fadi Sawan indicted on Monday a Syrian national for involvement in terrorist activities in Lebanon, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Sawan said in his indictment that Sami Baqir, a member of an armed terrorist organization, had smuggled Syrian citizens from Lebanon to Syria and the other way around.

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Operator of Fake Terrorist Group Account Faces Trial at Military Court

First Military Examining Magistrate Judge Riyad Abu Ghida issued on Monday an indictment against the operator of the Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade's twitter account.

The judge also called for Hussein al-Hussein to be tried at the military court.

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Adwan Seeks to Appease Angry Relatives of Arsal Hostages

Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan visited the families of the so-called Arsal hostages on Monday to persuade them to reopen the roads they are blocking in protest at the continued captivity of their loved ones.

“Road blocking is not the solution,” Adwan said during the meeting with the families of the captive soldiers and policemen at their protest site in Dahr al-Baidar.

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