Report: Case of Hostage Servicemen to Reach Positive Results by End of March

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An important breakthrough in the case of captive servicemen is expected to be reached at the end of March, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday.

Informed sources told the newspaper that the resumption of the Qatari endeavors had a positive impact on the case, in particular the negotiation with al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front group.

The sources said that the case could witness an important development by the end of the March.

A number of soldiers and policemen were abducted by al-Nusra Front and Islamic State group gunmen in the wake of clashes in the northeastern border town of Arsal in August.

A few of them have since been released, four were executed, and the rest remain held.

The captors have been demanding the release of Islamists held in Lebanon as a condition to set them free.

On Saturday, General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim stressed after talks with Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji that the state is exerting efforts to ensure the safe release of the abducted soldiers and policemen.

For his part, Qahwaji pointed out in a speech on the occasion of Mother's Day that he “vows not to engage in any settlement on the blood of martyrs,” stressing that “all hostages will be released no matter the sacrifices were.”

Media reports said recently that al-Nusra Front handed over a list that include 40 inmates and remains open to negotiations.

The list also includes the names of three women - Iraqi national Saja al-Dulaimi, Lebanese Joumana Hmeid and Alaa al-Oqaili - who are all detained on terror charges.

However, the Lebanese authorities rejected to include in the swap agreement ten inmates from Arab nationalities due to the preexistence of accords between the country and Arab states that prevent the engagement in any similar deals.

The list also includes the names of several “dangerous prisoners.”

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