Sources: Qatari Mediation on Arsal Hostages Ends

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Qatar is no longer mediating the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen taken captive by jihadists from the northeastern border town of Arsal in August, al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front sources said.

The sources told al-Akhbar newspaper published on Tuesday that the Qatari mediation came to an end after the Lebanese government reneged on an agreement to free Islamist inmates from Roumieh prison in return for the freedom of three of the hostages.

The daily expected the Islamic State group to release a statement making a similar announcement.

Both al-Nusra Front and the IS overran Arsal in August and engaged in bloody gunbattles with the Lebanese army.

They took with them the hostages and later executed three of them.

The two terrorist groups have had different demands to release the captives. But the freedom of Islamists from Roumieh prison are one of them.

On Monday, al-Nusra allegedly rejected an offer to treat one of its fighters at a hospital in Lebanon in exchange for the release of three of the captives.

A commander told Turkey's Anadolu News Agency that the group had asked General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim via a mediator to treat a wounded fighter in Arsal.

Ibrahim demanded the release of three captives. But “we rejected that,” said the commander.



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