MOSCOW, November 17 (Sputnik) — Islamic State (IS) fighters have threatened to execute 30 Lebanese soldiers captured in early August unless Lebanon releases hundreds of IS prisoners, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) said Monday.
According to the LBC, the jihadists had a telephone conversation with a brother of a kidnapped soldier during which they vowed to behead all the servicemen.
About 30 Lebanese soldiers and security personnel were seized by the IS and al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front in August, when the jihadists attacked the Lebanese town of Arsal near the Syrian border.
The IS offered to free the hostages in exchange for the release of some 400 Islamists from the Rumia central prison near Beirut. The Lebanese government refused to free the Islamists and turned to Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for help.
Three Lebanese Army captives have so far been decapitated, prompting the relatives of the abducted servicemen to stage a street protest in downtown Beirut on Sunday. They pledged to organize a mass rally across the country if the government does not act on the threats made by the IS.
The recent threat comes after the IS released a video Sunday that confirmed the killing of Peter Kassig, a US-born Muslim convert and the fifth Western citizen to have been beheaded by the Islamist group since August.