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Hezbollah, militants to swap corpses on Syria border

HEZBOLLAH, MILITANTS TO SWAP CORPSES ON SYRIA BORDER

Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham will exchange the corpses of fighters on Sunday as part of a cease-fire between the two groups, Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television station said.

The television station said the swap was the first stage of the cease-fire, which came into effect on Thursday in the border area between Lebanon and Syria.

The cease-fire deal in the town of Juroud Arsal includes the exit of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham fighters, formerly Nusra Front, in return for the release of three Hezbollah fighters who were captured while battling alongside Syrian regime forces in the Syrian Tel el-Ais region in 2016.

Backed by Syrian regime's Air Force, Hezbollah began fighting in Juroud Arsal on July 19 against various Syrian armed groups, including the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and managed to make several gains.

Since the beginning of fighting, human rights groups expressed concerns about the 100,000 Syrian refugees living in the region.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians are believed to have been killed to date.

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