Children climb on top of a Lebanese Army tank, greeting soldiers as they entered Arsal Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Nidal al-Solh)
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The Lebanese Army entered Arsal Saturday and redeployed in checkpoints that had been overrun by militants a week ago, 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. Some residents greeted Army soldiers as they passed through the town, while children climbed on top of tanks in celebration of what officials said was the liberation of the town from militants.The five-day ferocious clashes between the Army and militants erupted on Aug. 2 -- killing 17 soldiers and over 50 gunmen -- over the arrest of Syrian militant commander Ahmad Jomaa.
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