Arsalis protest in downtown Beirut near the Al-Amine Mosque, Wednesday, August 6, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Dozens residents who fled devastated Arsal held a demonstration Wednesday in Beirut to express solidarity with their relatives who couldn't flee, and called for a political solution to end the violence and allow humanitarian aid to reach the town.Another participant in the demonstration, who chose to speak anonymously, said only eight percent of Arsal's people were able to flee.The battle in Arsal between the Army and militants entered its fifth day Wednesday, after the failure of a cease-fire that was negotiated by the Muslim Scholars Committee. The ill-fated 24-hour truce lasted for 3 hours only, and was reportedly breached by an armed attack on soldiers Tuesday night.A total of 38 security forces -- 22 soldiers and 19 policemen from the Internal Security Forces -- were missing after jihadists from Syria overran Arsal on Saturday.
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