BEIRUT: The body of a Lebanese soldier killed after being taken captive by the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front was handed over to a Lebanese security agency and the Red Cross on Tuesday, the state news agency reported.
A security source said the return of the body of Mohamed Hamieh was the first step in a deal to secure the release of 16 Lebanese soldiers and policemen. They have been held by the Nusra Front since it attacked Arsal, a Lebanese town near the Syrian border, in August 2014.
The National News Agency said Hamieh’s body was handed over as a result of the negotiations. He was one of four soldiers the Nusra Front has killed after capturing them in the Arsal raid.
The Islamic State jihadist group, which was also part of the attack on Arsal, is holding nine soldiers not included in the current negotiations.