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

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Police have used water cannons to break up a protest 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.

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."