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At least 11 Lebanese Army soldiers were killed and 13 were taken hostage in Arsal, during clashes between the Army and Syrian armed groups that have so far killed 30 militants, according to security sources.As clashes between troops and militants raged to regain control of an Army barrack inside the border town, a brigade from the Army's elite force, the Maghawir, arrived in Arsal to support colleagues fighting there. Army chief, Gen. Jean Kahwagi, confirmed in a news conference that 10 soldiers had died and 13 were missing, saying they were most likely kidnapped. However, Kahwagi said that Army troops were able to take back control of Wadi Hmayyed, a neighborhood on the entrance of Arsal that has witnessed heavy, non-stop clashes.The attacks against the Army confirm that the terrorist threat against Lebanon has become reality, with the Army firmly vowing to carry on with its mission in north east Lebanon until the threat is eradicated.Media reports said the Army was able to free two of the wounded soldiers, after raiding the house in which they were apprehended by armed groups.Syrian armed groups Saturday had killed two Lebanese soldiers in an attack on a checkpoint in Wadi Hmayyed, northeast Lebanon, as the Lebanese Army freed two troops kidnapped earlier in the area.
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