BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk dismissed a threat by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) to kill a captive Lebanese soldier if the government failed to meet the group’s demands to release Islamist prisoners.
“I don’t believe the threat is serious,” Machnouk said in remarks published Wednesday by the local daily Al-Liwaa.
He said he had received reliable messages that confirmed the threat was fabricated and had nothing to do with ISIS.
In a statement attributed to ISIS, the group threatened to kill a Lebanese soldier if the government failed to meet its demands in 24 hours.
Among the demands was the release of ISIS-affiliated prisoners from Lebanese prisons as well as respecting the rights of Syrian refugees, Al-Liwaa said. It said ISIS also threatened to kill one soldier every three days starting Aug. 26, when the statement was issued.
Islamist militants took 29 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage during their battle with the Lebanese Army in the northeastern border town of Arsal earlier this month.