BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 A.M.) – Hundreds of people filled the streets of Beirut to pay respects to ten Lebanese soldiers who were killed by members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) after being captured in 2014, on a national day of mourning, Friday.
Two of the captured soldiers were killed in 2014, whilst the fate of the other eight was unknown until late July. The soldiers bodies were recovered last month from the Syria-Lebanon border region in the wake of an army offensive against IS militants and under a Hezbollah-negotiated deal.
DNA tests matched the identities of the servicemen who disappeared during battles with the group in 2014. Families of the soldiers were informed on Wednesday by Lebanese army commander General Joseph Aoun.
Earlier in the day, Lebanese President Michel Aoun led a state funeral at the country’s Defence Ministry. President Aoun addressed the families of the fallen soldiers at the funeral, promising “the blood of your sons is in safe hand until we achieve the goals for which they were martyred and until all the facts are revealed.”