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Police use water cannons to break up protest by families of soldiers kidnapped by militants

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BEIRUT — Police used water cannons to break up a protest Friday by relatives of several kidnapped Lebanese soldiers, after the protesters blocked a main highway in the capital.

Several protesters and some journalists were also beaten by security forces as they broke up the demonstration.

PHOTO: Lebanese policemen arrest a relative man of Lebanese soldier who was kidnapped by Islamic militants, during a demonstration a day after the Nusra Front threatened to kill one of the soldiers, demanding that the government negotiate seriously with the militants, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov 28, 2014. Police have used water cannons to break up a protest by relatives of Lebanese soldiers held hostage by Islamic militants, during which they closed off a main highway in the capital. Several of the protesters and journalists were also beaten up a security forces sought to reopen the road. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Lebanese policemen arrest a relative man of Lebanese soldier who was kidnapped by Islamic militants, during a demonstration a day after the Nusra Front threatened to kill one of the soldiers, demanding that the government negotiate seriously with the militants, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov 28, 2014. Police have used water cannons to break up a protest by relatives of Lebanese soldiers held hostage by Islamic militants, during which they closed off a main highway in the capital. Several of the protesters and journalists were also beaten up a security forces sought to reopen the road. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in Syria seized some 20 Lebanese soldiers and police officers in August during a brief cross-border raid. They have already killed three of the captives, beheading two.

Friday's protest came a day after Nusra Front threatened to kill one of the soldiers. The families are demanding that the government negotiate seriously with the militants — who are demanding the release of Islamist prisoners from Lebanese jails.

Lebanon's Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said blocking roads "is not the answer."

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