Islamic State terrorists (file)
Islamic State terrorists (file) Reuters

The Lebanese army says it is looking into reports that the Islamic State terrorist group has beheaded another of its soldiers Saturday.

An IS commander told Turkey's Anadolu news site that the soldier - identified as 24-year-old Abbas Medlej - was executed after trying to escape.

An image of a masked man holding a severed head in front of an IS flag was circulated on Twitter by Islamists, claiming it was one of several Lebanese soldiers captured after fierce clashes between jihadis and the Lebanese Armed Forces last month, which left scores dead on both sides and several soldiers and civilians abducted.

“The army has received the images, but we cannot confirm or deny whether they are authentic,” said a source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The news comes on the same day as the body of a Lebanese civilian was handed over to his family, after he too was apparently executed by the Islamic State. 

Kayed Ghadada was abducted in August after the clashes between the army and Islamists affiliated with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda's Nusra Front in Arsal, along the Lebanon-Syria border.

20 soldiers, dozens of jihadis and 16 civilians were reported killed in those clashes, and some 30 soldiers and security service personnel were abducted.

Medlej would be the second Lebanese soldier to be beheaded by IS, after another captive, Ali Sayyed, was executed last month.

Lebanese authorities have up until now refused demands by the Islamists to release several terrorists from prison in exchange for the hostages, but say Qatar is helping to mediate between the sides to reach an agreement and free the captives.

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