Rebels delay killing of captured Lebanese troops

The self-styled IIslamic State group had threatened to start killing soldiers as of Wednesday.

Rebels delay killing of captured Lebanese troops

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Islamic State militant group in Syria has postponed its earlier threat to begin killing one captured Lebanese soldier every three days if Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group was not excluded from prisoner-exchange talks, a group leader has said.

"We agreed to extend our ultimatum for two more days after receiving an initial positive response from the Lebanese government regarding the prisoners," the leader, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency in an interview conducted online Thursday.

He said the group had been in contact with Lebanese officials, but declined to provide details.

On Tuesday, the self-styled Islamic State threatened to begin killing one Lebanese soldier captured in Syria every three days if Hezbollah wasn't excluded from prisoner-exchange talks between it and the Lebanese government.

The group went on to accuse the Lebanese militant group of obstructing the ongoing negotiations.

Arsal, the Lebanese border town from which the group captured the soldiers, has seen intense fighting between the Lebanese army and militants – believed to have come from Syria – in early August.

At least 17 Lebanese troops have been killed and 86 injured in the recent fighting.

The violence broke out after gunmen – said to be Islamic State militants – attacked security and army sites in Arsal, abducting a number of citizens and troops in retaliation for the recent arrest of a rebel leader.

The violence has largely destroyed several refugee camps that accommodate thousands of Syrian refugees, prompting many of the latter to flee the town.

Along with the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees, Lebanon has been hard hit by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

The small coastal country has also witnessed a surge in militant attacks in recent months in response to Hezbollah's role in the Syria conflict, where the Shiite militant group has fought alongside Syrian regime troops.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Ağustos 2014, 09:34