Beirut: Lebanese security forces on Monday said they have detained an Islamic State group jihadist who confessed to beheading a kidnapped soldier in 2014.
IS had abducted the soldier along with other members of the security forces during fierce clashes in August 2014 between Lebanese troops and jihadists in the flashpoint Arsal region on the Syrian border.
Of the 30 troops and policemen kidnapped by IS and Al-Qaeda affiliate the Al-Nusra Front, five were executed. After long and arduous negotiations, Al-Nusra released 16 of them in December 2015, leaving nine in the hands of IS.
"The General Security Directorate has detained S.J., a Syrian national, for membership of a terrorist organisation," the security body said.
"After interrogation, he confessed to being a member of the terrorist group Daesh and to beheading the martyred soldier Abbas Medlej," it added, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
Medlej, a Shiite Muslim, was the second Lebanese captive to be killed after the jihadist assault on the Arsal region in eastern Lebanon. According to the security body, the detainee also confessed to killing a police officer during the raid.
"He was recently involved in surveillance of Lebanese army checkpoints in Arsal, as a prelude to a new attack aimed at kidnapping soldiers," the statement said.
Lebanon has been the scene of frequent violence including deadly bomb attacks and clashes between jihadists and army troops since war erupted in neighbouring Syria in 2011.