Islamic State fighters on Saturday claimed to have beheaded a second Lebanese soldier captured by the militant group last month.
Supporters of the group posted photos on Twitter claiming to show the hostage, identified as Abbas Medlej, being decapitated. Medlej's family said the images appear to be real, the Associated Press reported. Lebanese military officials said the army had received the images and was investigating whether they are authentic.
An Islamic State leader in Lebanon told Turkey's Anadolu Agency that the group killed the 20-year-old soldier after he attempted to escape. According to the group, the soldier pretended to go to the bathroom and opened fire on his captors.
If confirmed, the man would be the second Lebanese solder to be beheaded in recent weeks by the extremist group, previously known as ISIS. On Wednesday, the first Lebanese soldier, Sgt. Ali Sayid, was buried in Lebanon a week after militants posted a video of his decapitation.
Around two dozen members of Lebanon's security forces were captured by the Islamic State when they stormed the Lebanese border town of Arsal earlier in August, in the worst-seen spillover of violence from neighboring Syria. In the aftermath of the attack, the U.S. sent an emergency weapons shipment to the Lebanese military.
Militants have demanded the release of Islamist prisoners in exchange for the hostages, but the Lebanese government has rejected a prisoner swap, according to Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.