Lebanese soldiers atop armored personnel carrier stand at the entrance of Arsal, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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The Lebanese Army said Thursday night it could neither confirm nor deny a claim by a member of ISIS that the militant group had beheaded one of 11 soldiers it captured earlier this month following clashes in the northeastern town of Arsal.The victim, Ali Sayyed, is an Army soldier originally from the northern district of Akkar. He was among the 29 soldiers and Internal Security Forces (ISF) personnel captured by Islamist militants during the clashes with the Army in Arsal. Sayyed's brutal murder means that the number of Army hostages held by ISIS is now 10 .The Nusra Front is said to be holding 15 ISF captives and three Army hostages.The Army said in a statement that the fighting erupted when a military vehicle with five soldiers on board was ambushed by "terrorist gunmen" at around 11 a.m. in the border village of Al-Rahwe.The Army launched a counterattack during which it rescued four soldiers, while one soldier was wounded and another went missing, the statement said. The Army also detained Mohammad Barakat, a Lebanese, on suspicion of belonging to the Nusra Front after images of Barakat battling alongside Nusra rebels were found by Army intelligence, a source told The Daily Star.
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