File - Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The Nusra Front's decision to send its demands via a Qatar-appointed mediator to the Lebanese government has pushed the hostage crisis back into the limelight.The move coincided with media accusations that Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi supported the ISIS and Nusra Front militants, who are holding 27 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage, and provided them with money. Contacting the Syrian government is deemed essential after the Nusra Front demanded, among other things, the release of female prisoners in Syria, in exchange for freeing the Lebanese hostages.The Nusra Front, Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate, said in its Twitter account Saturday that it had handed its demands to a Qatar-appointed mediator who delivered them to General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim.The militant group said it suggested three proposals that would ultimately resolve the case: the release of 10 detainees in Lebanese prisons for each captive; the release of seven Lebanese and 30 women held in Syrian prisons for each captive; or the release of five Lebanese and 50 female detainees in exchange for the release of a hostage.
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