Minister Nouhad Machnouk arrives to attend a Cabinet session in Baabda, Friday, May 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A swap deal between the Lebanese government and militants holding at least 21 servicemen hostage is on the table, Interior Minsiter Nouhad Machnouk said Wednesday.More than thirty soldiers and policemen were captured by Nusra and ISIS militants during an armed attack on the northeastern border town of Arsal last month.As for the Nusra Front, they are demanding the release of individuals detained since the eruption of clashes in Arsal last month, as well as the protection of Syrian refugees and the opening of a safe passage for civilians into and out of Arsal.The interior minister expressed his sympathy to the families of the hostages who had blocked the Dahr al-Baidar road earlier today, in an effort to pressure the government into complying with the militant's demands.
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