BEIRUT (AP) — The main al-Qaida-linked group in Syria on Monday detained one of its own former commanders who had defected and set up his own hard-line outfit earlier this year after coming out against a cease-fire, opposition activists said.

The activists said a big force from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, raided the house of Jamal Zeina, better known as Abu Malek al-Tali, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Idlib and detained him.

Al-Tali was behind major operations for the group that used to be known as Nusra Front, including the December 2013 kidnapping of 12 Orthodox nuns from Maaloula, a Christian village in Syria that insurgents controlled for few months during the country’s nine-year conflict. Nusra Front exchanged the nuns four months

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