World Bulletin / News Desk
A leader of the Lebanese branch of the militant movement Al-Nusra Front said on Saturday that the front had released five Lebanese Sunni troops, out of a total of 18 troops, it kidnapped during clashes with the Lebanese army earlier this month.
"We have handed the five troops to one of the notables of Arsal and they should be released tomorrow morning," the leader told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
Fierce clashes erupted between the Lebanese army and militants affiliated with the Syrian opposition earlier this month in Arsal, a village on the border between Lebanon and Syria.
The clashes left 17 Lebanese troops dead and several others wounded. The militants also kidnapped several Lebanese troops during the clashes.
The Al-Nusra Front leader said the five freed troops would spend the night at a mosque in Arsal and that they would be released on Sunday morning.
He added that he and fellow Al-Nusra members did not get ransom to release the troops.
"Our fight is not against Sunnis," the leader said.
He did not, however, mention any further details about the release of the Lebanese troops.
On Friday, the militants posted a video of the beheading of a kidnapped soldier, while a militant spokesman said other kidnapped Lebanese troops could meet the same fate if the government does not succumb to the movement's demands.
The demands of the movement include the release of fighters held by the Lebanese government and keeping the Shiite Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah out of prisoner exchange talks.Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Ağustos 2014, 09:42