File - Arsal mayor Ali Hujeiri speaks to journalists in Ras Baalbek, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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Conflicting reports emerged Tuesday regarding the fate of Qatari mediation efforts with the Syrian opposition to secure the release of 13 nuns that have been held by Syrian rebels in a town near the border with Lebanon since early December.While some media reports said the Gulf country had suspended its mediation attempts with the rebels, a security source in Arsal said a Qatari delegation had visited the Bekaa Valley town less than two weeks ago to meet with its mayor, Ali Hujeiri, and seek his help to release the nuns. There is effectively no policing of the border on the road between Arsal, a northeastern Lebanese town bordering Syria's Qalamoun region, and the Syrian town of Yabroud, where the nuns are reportedly staying or being kept in the home of a Christian family.
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