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Qatar pulls out of talks to free Lebanese soldiers

December 8, 2014

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar’s Foreign Ministry says it will no longer serve as a go-between for the release of Lebanese soldiers abducted by an al-Qaida-linked group.

The ministry said in a brief statement carried by the official Qatar News Agency late Sunday that its decision is a result of the killing of a Lebanese solider at the hands of the militants.

The Nusra Front group in Syria says it shot dead the soldier on Friday night in retaliation for the Lebanese government’s detention of the wives and children of militants. Nusra Front and the Islamic State group are holding some 20 Lebanese soldiers and policemen captive after kidnapping them during a cross-border raid in August.

Qatar says it was mediating because Lebanese officials had asked for the Gulf country’s help negotiating their release.

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