Health Minister Wael Abou Faour confirmed al-Nusra decision, saying it has postponed the execution.
“The cabinet stresses its serious efforts to resolve the case of captive servicemen through holding direct and immediate negotiations with the kidnappers and halting any action that may threaten their lives and safety,”Abou Faour emphasized.
Conflicting reports circulated Friday evening over the fate of al-Bazzal as the General Security announced that the Qatari mediator will return to Lebanon “in the coming hours ” to continue the negotiations
“The General Security communicated with the Qatari side, which informed General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim that the Qatari mediator will return again to Lebanon in the coming hours,” National News Agency reported.
“Following contacts and efforts by Ibrahim, al-Nusra Front retracted its threat to behead captive soldier al-Bazzal,” NNA added.
Al-Nusra threatened on Thursday to execute al-Bazzal within 24 hours if the Lebanese government did not start what it called “serious negotiations.”
It also called on the Lebanese authorities to release Jumana Hmayyed, who was arrested near Arsal in February while driving a booby-trapped car that entered Lebanon from Syria’s Yabrud region.
A number of soldiers and policemen were abducted from the northeastern border town of Arsal in August following clashes between the army and Islamist gunmen from Syria.
A few of them have since been released, three were executed, while the rest are still being held by the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front terror groups
The families of the captives have repeatedly expressed their anger with the cabinet for failing to resolve the case and have been staging rallies and blocking main roads across the country to pressure the government to take more action.
The abductors have been demanding the release of a number of Islamist terrorists held in Roumieh prison in exchange for the captive soldiers and policemen.
Al-Joumhouria reported that judicial authorities have been working on speeding up the trials of the Islamist terrorists .