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Prime Minister Tammam Salam said on Saturday that the recent developments in the northeastern town of Arsal has “prompted us to take the choice of confronting the terrorists through the state institutions.”

“We sought negotiations over the release of the captive soldiers and policemen, but the terrorists did not allow these efforts to reach fruition,” he said after holding talks with Speaker Nabih Berri.

Salam stressed the importance of internal unity in confronting the threat of terrorism.

“We need to stand united against terrorism and we should not grant terrorists the chance to create division among us.” He stressed.

Unity should be demonstrated among the people, political powers, government, media, army and security agencies, he declared.

“Our unity alone determines our fate,” adding : “We will not allow terrorists to defeat us”

“The terrorists will fail to create division among us,” stated Salam, while stressing that any attempts to ignite strife in Lebanon will also fail.

He called on the Lebanese people to stand behind the army and the state institutions .

Asked by a reporter whether the state will halt negotiations over the release of the captives, he replied: “All options are still open.”

At the end of the clashes last August, the militants abducted several soldiers and policemen and two of them have since been beheaded, while a third was executed on Friday

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