BEIRUT (Reuters) - 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.
Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Catherine Evans