Women react during the funeral of Lebanese soldier Ali al-Sayyed in Qalamoun, Sept. 3, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
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Thousands of Akkar residents and relatives of a 29-year-old soldier who was beheaded by ISIS last week flocked to his hometown in north Lebanon where he was laid to rest Wednesday.The funeral procession for Sayyed drew thousands of northerners into the streets of Qalamoun, Mhammara and Fnaydeq, with many firing guns into the air, before he was laid to rest in his Akkar hometown.During prayers on Sayyed's body at the town's mosque, a military personnel representing Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi said the blood of Sayyed protected Lebanon from terrorism.On Tuesday, the Lebanese Army confirmed that DNA test results positively identified the body released to the Muslim Scholars Committee as Sayyed.Jihadists are now holding at least 23 soldiers and policemen captive after the beheading of Sayyed and the release of five soldiers on Sunday.Both ISIS and the Nusra Front have called on the Lebanese government to release Islamist prisoners from Roumieh Prison, in exchange for the captive security personnel.
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