File - Lebanon's Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk announces new arrangements facilitating the return of Syrian refugees who have not paid the legal fines for their stay in Lebanon. (Reuters)
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Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk Monday dismissed threats by Islamist militants to kill the 29 Lebanese security personnel they are holding, while reiterating the government's refusal to budge on the captors' demands.Machnouk denied that Hezbollah had intervened in the ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the 29 captives.Earlier Monday, Syria's Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front threatened to use force to free Islamist militants held at Roumieh prison.The release of Islamist detainees at Roumieh prison is a key demand of the militants holding the 29 Lebanese security personnel. The hostages were taken after five days of ferocious clashes between the Lebanese Army and militants in the northeastern border town of Arsal earlier this month.However, a security source told The Daily Star that both the captives and militants were still inside Arsal, refuting reports that the hostages had been taken to the town's mountainous outskirts or neighboring hills.Speaking about the militants' reported demands for the release of Islamist detainees held at Roumieh prison, Amama said that the militants hadn't issued names.However, security sources denied that Ibrahim's visits were linked to the negotiations with the militants.
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