Qatar halts mediation to free captive Lebanese soldiers

Qatar has halted its bid to broker the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen captured by Islamist militants during a raid on a Lebanese border town in August, saying its efforts had failed after one of the captives was killed.
Militants affiliated with the Nusra Front and the al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State took captive more than two dozen members of the Lebanese security forces during the August incursion.
The Nusra Front said on Friday it had killed one of them in retaliation for the arrest by Lebanese authorities of women identified as wives of Islamist militants.
Qatar had previously helped mediate the release of hostages held by Nusra, al Qaeda's official affiliate in the Syrian war.
"The (Qatari) Foreign Ministry announced that it was no longer possible for Qatar to continue its efforts to free the Lebanese military personnel who were kidnapped in August from the environs of the town of Arsal," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Sunday.
The ministry said its decision was based on the failure to secure the captives' release. It also expressed regret over the latest death - the fourth of the captives killed since August.
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