Lebanon mulls swapping prisoners for captured troops

A judiciary source said that the release of prisoners from Lebanese jails would be carried out through judicial channels.

Lebanon mulls swapping prisoners for captured troops

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Lebanese government is set to release a number of detained fighters to secure the release of several troops recently captured by militants in the town of Arsal on the Syrian border, an informed source has said.

The source stressed, however, that the release of prisoners from Lebanese jails would be carried out through judicial channels.

"The Lebanese government is giving in to the militants' demands," the source told Anadolu Agency on Monday on condition of anonymity.

"It will release some Islamist prisoners from its jails," he added.

A judicial source, meanwhile, said the issue would be addressed via legal channels.

"The issue of the Islamist prisoners will be handled," the source told AA.

He explained that only Islamist prisoners who hadn't committed criminal acts or jeopardized Lebanon's national security would be considered for release.

The source added that a number of other Islamist prisoners had already served out their sentences but had not been released because they had failed to pay fines imposed on them.

He said these prisoners could be released if the outstanding fines were paid.

The issue was raised at a Sunday security meeting chaired by Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Sallam, according to a ministerial source.

The source told Anadolu Agency that the Lebanese ministries of interior and justice were coordinating their efforts in this regard.

On August 2, deadly clashes erupted in the Lebanese border village of Arsal between Lebanese army troops and militants thought to be affiliated with groups currently fighting the Syrian government.

The clashes left 17 Lebanese troops and a large number of militants dead. The militants, however, also managed to capture 18 Lebanese troops.

The militants now refuse to free the captured troops unless the Lebanese government releases a number of detained Islamist figures.

A few days ago, the captured troops appeared in a video in which they asked their families to urge the Lebanese government to accept a prisoner swap.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Eylül 2014, 11:07
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