A bulldozer reopens the road in Dahr al-Baidar, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Osama Kadiri)
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Relatives of servicemen held by jihadist militants reopened the vital Dahr al-Baidar highway Wednesday after receiving assurances that the government was ready to discuss a swap deal to end their sons' ordeal.The relatives of the more-than 21 army troops and policemen, who are being held hostage by militants from Syria's Nusra Front and ISIS near the border town of Arsal, have been blocking the main artery of Dahr al-Baidar since Sept. 24 to press the government into negotiating for the captives' release.The reopening of the road came after Health Minister Wael Abu Faour announced that the government was ready to discuss a straightforward swap deal to end the ordeal of the captives, who have been held since early August.Speaking after a meeting with the families of the captives at their protest campsite in Dahr al-Baidar, Abu Faour said that the government was keeping an eye on talks to clarify terms of an ongoing deal to release the hostages.
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