Al-Nusra Says It Executed Captive Soldier Mohammed Hamiyehإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front on Friday said it executed captive Lebanese soldier Mohammed Hamiyeh, describing him as the “victim of the Lebanese army's intransigence.”
Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency said it received a phone call from a Nusra leader in Syria's Qalamun, who confirmed that the group murdered Hamiyeh with several bullets.
Meanwhile, Al-Arabiya TV said Lebanese security sources have confirmed the execution.
“After the operation that the Lebanese army and the Iranian party (Hizbullah) fabricated today with the aim of impeding the negotiations and after (the army's) arrest of civilians in Arsal and shelling of Qalamun's mountains, the time has come,” the Front's Qalamun branch threatened earlier in a tweet.
It was referring to a bomb attack that killed two Lebanese troops and wounded three others earlier in the day in the Bekaa border town of Arsal.
“Mohammed Hamiyeh is the first victim of the intransigence of the Lebanese army, which has become a puppet in the hand of the Iranian party,” it added.
Muslim scholars had urged al-Nusra not to carry out the execution, according to MTV.
The Front had first threatened to kill Hamiyeh on Tuesday over what it called the army's “persecution” of Syrian refugees and “procrastination” in the negotiations between the group and Lebanese authorities.
Along with the text of Tuesday's statement, the group published a photoshopped image showing Hamiyeh in a black casket.
Hamiyeh was among nine Lebanese security personnel who featured in a video posted by the Front on August 23, in which he was the only one donning army fatigues as the rest appeared in Internal Security Forces uniforms.
The troops were abducted during deadly clashes in early August between the army and Nusra and Islamic State gunmen in and around Arsal.
Nineteen troops were killed in the fighting as 35 soldiers and policemen were taken hostage. The Front later released seven security personnel who were in its custody while the IS has executed two army troops.