Lebanese soldiers on armored vehicles drive toward Arsal, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A temporary truce fell apart less than three hours after it was established when withdrawing militants targeted Lebanese Army posts on the hills surrounding the border village of Arsal, northeast Lebanon, a security source told The Daily Star.The Army had agreed Tuesday evening to a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire to allow the evacuation of wounded civilians and support ongoing efforts to release kidnapped soldiers held by militants in Arsal. But clashes between the Army and Islamist militants flared up after the militants who were withdrawing from the town targeted two Army posts located on the hills surrounding Arsal, the source said. Minutes later, the committee also handed an intelligence unit three of the kidnapped soldiers on Ras al-Serj hill, which the military regained control over Monday night.Militants said they were holding 38 policeman and soldiers since the clashes erupted Saturday afternoon, while the Army said Monday that 22 soldiers were missing in the northeastern town of Arsal. Two soldiers were killed during overnight clashes with Islamist militants around Arsal after three members of a delegation of the Committee of Muslim Scholars were wounded as they tried to mediate a cease-fire.
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