World Bulletin / News Desk
A state funeral was held Friday in Beirut for ten Lebanese military personnel kidnapped by the ISIL terrorist group -- and later executed -- in 2014.
Held at the headquarters of the Lebanese Defense Ministry, the funeral was attended by President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
On Aug. 2, 2014, ISIL announced it had taken 11 Lebanese soldiers hostage near the small Lebanese town of Arsal on the Syrian border.
Earlier this week, Lebanese army commander Joseph Aoun informed the families of 10 of the missing soldiers that the men had been killed after their bodies were found in areas identified by the terrorist group.
While the identities of the 10 men were confirmed by DNA testing, the fate of the eleventh soldier remains unknown.
Addressing the slain soldiers’ families at Friday’s funeral, President Aoun vowed to “achieve the objectives they were martyred for”.
For his part, army commander Aoun (no relation to the president) declared that, “From now on, the army will remain deployed on the eastern border” -- a reference to Lebanon’s border with war-torn Syria.
Since Aug. 19, the Lebanese army has been waging an offensive aimed at dislodging ISIL militants from mountainous areas near the Syrian border.
Earlier this month, army troops -- along with Hezbollah fighters -- wrested the border town of Jaroud Arsal from the terrorist group.
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