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Sawwan Indicts 8 Lebanese and a Syrian for Armed Group Ties

Military Investigative Judge Fadi Sawwan indicted eight Lebanese and a Syrian national for belonging to armed groups that took part in several terrorist attacks in Lebanon, the state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

The Lebanese were indicted for triggering sectarian strife in the northern city of Tripoli during the Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen clashes.

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Relatives of Arsal Captives Protest Near Grand Serail, Warn of Further Delay

The families of Arsal captives held a sit-in near the Grand Serail on Thursday to protest the state's procrastination regarding the release of their relatives, who were abducted by Islamist gunmen in August.

“We warn of further delay in resolving the case of our sons,” the relatives told reporters gathering in Riyadh al-Solh Square, demanding swift negotiations with jihadists, who are taking positions on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal.

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Some Arsal Abductees Could be Released on al-Adha Holiday as Negotiations Continue

Mediations between kidnappers of the Arsal soldiers and the Qatari negotiator could herald the release of one of the soldiers before al-Adha holiday, meanwhile sources close to the premiership stressed that efforts continue in that regard.

The Qatari mediator expects the release of one or more of the soldiers that were kidnapped, as a “good will gesture” before al-Adha holiday, al-Akhbar daily reported on Thursday.

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Mashnouq: Positive Discussions Ongoing with Hizbullah on Arsal

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq stated that Hizbullah is demonstrating “openness” regarding resolving the situation in the northeastern border town of Arsal, reported al-Mustaqbal daily on Thursday.

He told the daily: “The ongoing discussions with the party are positive and further meetings are necessary with it in the future in order to reach solutions.”

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Sayyah: Situation of Lebanese Christians Will Be Safeguarded with Election of President

Maronite Bishops Boulos Sayyah revealed that no new breakthroughs have been achieved in ending the deadlock over the presidential elections, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Thursday.

He told the daily: “The situation of Christians in Lebanon will be safeguarded only with the election of a president.”

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Report: Western Intelligence Warns ISIL Preparing to Launch Attacks in North

Extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are seeking to carry out security operations in northern Lebanon, reported al-Akhbar newspaper on Thursday.

Western diplomatic sources told the daily that western intelligence obtained information that ISIL-linked groups, present in the northern city of Tripoli, are preparing to carry out these attacks in an attempt to seize northern border areas.

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Hariri to Meet Hollande Next Week, Discuss Political Deadlock

Head of al-Mustaqbal Movement and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to meet with French President Francois Hollande next week, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Thursday.

According to the daily, the meeting, which will be held on Tuesday in Paris, will tackle the ongoing political deadlock in Lebanon.

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Report: Parliament Extension to Witness Light Despite Objections

Several scenarios are currently being discussed to carry out the extension of the parliament's mandate, which became a de-facto choice amid the ongoing presidential impasse and the deep rift among the political arch-foes.

According to An Nahar newspaper published on Thursday, several parliamentary blocs are discussing three options to extend the tenure of the parliament.

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Army Finds 66 Kilos of Explosive Chemicals in Arsal

A patrol for the army intelligence found on Wednesday three suspicious bags containing chemicals that can be used for making bombs in the Bekaa border town of Arsal.

The bags were found in the Ain al-Shaab area, according to an army statement.

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Hizbullah Delegation Meets Jumblat, Stresses 'Need to Elect President ASAP'

A Hizbullah delegation held talks Wednesday with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat and stressed “the need to elect a new president as soon as possible.”

“The atmospheres are positive and we're all seeking to pull Lebanon out of the current dilemma with the least cost possible,” MP Mohammed Raad announced after the meeting with Jumblat at his Clemenceau residence.

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