MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Islamic State (IS) militants have issued a statement threatening to kill yet another Lebanese soldier within next 24 hours, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation reported Thursday.
The jihadists promised to execute the captive if the Lebanese government did not meet their demands, including cash and the release of Islamists being held in Lebanese detention.
According to the Albawaba news portal, Lebanese soldier Kamal Mohamman Hujeri was kidnapped Wednesday by gunmen who had crossed the border from neighboring Syria.
Currently, about 20 Lebanese soldiers and policemen are believed to be held captive by IS militants. So far, seven soldiers have been released and two others were executed, according to Albawaba news.
Violence erupted in eastern Lebanon in August after soldiers arrested a Syrian man, who later claimed to be from the IS. Angered by the arrest, the terrorists opened a fire on army checkpoints and stormed a police station in a border area.
Recent events on the Syria-Lebanon border have raised fears that the IS, which already controls large territories in Syria and Iraq, could expand into Lebanon.
The Islamic State, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting alongside the other rebel groups against the government forces in the Syrian civil war, before launching an offensive in Iraq in June 2014.
Later in June, the group, known for proclaiming hardline Islamic fundamentalism, announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control, and claimed religious authority over all Muslims globally.
According to the US Central Intelligence Agency, over 30,000 militants are currently fighting for the IS.