Report: DNA results prove bodies are of Lebanese soldiers

BEIRUT (dpa)- DNA tests of remains found in eastern Lebanon confirmed the bodies are of Lebanese soldiers who were abducted by the Islamic State militia, the soldiers' families were told.
Eight bodies were retrieved last month from the outskirts of the north-eastern town of Arsal.
According to the Lebanese MTV channel, Defence Minister Yaacoub al-Sarraf and Army Chief General Joseph Aoun informed the families of the results at a closed-door meeting at the Defence Ministry.

The families are due to meet Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the bodies will be buried on Friday, which will be announced as an official day of mourning, the report added.
The soldiers have been missing since August 2014 following clashes with jihadists in Arsal, near the Syrian border.
Eight bodies were recovered after intelligence from an Islamic State member who had surrendered to the Lebanese army had led them to the remains of the dead soldiers. They were killed in February 2015, according to the Lebanese authorities.
A ninth body, which was found later in a nearby area, was proved to belong to soldier Abbas Medlej, who was beheaded in September 2014 after Islamic State claimed that he tried to "escape."

Wednesday, September 6th 2017

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