Lebanon says ready to negotiate with Islamic State for soldiers
Islamic State fighters - REUTERS

BEIRUT: The Lebanese government is ready to negotiate with Islamic State to secure the release of nine Lebanese soldiers held captive by the jihadist group since August 2014, the head of a Lebanese security agency told Reuters on Tuesday.

Major General Abbas Ibrahim, head of General Security, said joy at the release of 16 Lebanese soldiers and policemen by the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front on Tuesday was incomplete because the nine captives remained.

“We are ready to start a negotiation process with Daesh over the nine soldiers if we find someone to negotiate with,” Ibrahim told Reuters by telephone. Daesh is an Arabic name for Islamic State.

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