A man inspects burnt tents in Arsal, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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Muslim Scholars Committee member Sheikh Younis Abdel Razzak reportedly said Sunday that the negotiations on the issue of the abducted soldiers of Arsal were heading to a solution soon, while stressing that the committee had no direct contact between the armed men.The Lebanese Army entered Arsal Saturday and redeployed in checkpoints that had been overrun by militants, as relatives of kidnapped soldiers and security forces issued a personal call for their release.Thirty-five military vehicles, including two tanks, drove through the northeastern town in the afternoon, making their way to Aqabat al-Mebyaah in Wadi al-Hosn, an Army post that militants took over on the first day of fighting, as well as Sayadeye among other posts. Despite the withdrawal of fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Nusra Front -- some of whom resided in Syrian refugee camps in Arsal -- and the cease-fire that allowed the entry of needed aid into the town, militants are still holding 25 hostages: 17 members of the Internal Security Forces and 8 soldiers, according to a security source.
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