Syrian Rebels Kill Eight Lebanese Soldiers in Cross-Border Raid on Arsal

A Lebanese army's tank drives to the entrance of the town of Arsal in the Bekaa valley by the Syrian border on Saturday as they arrive to secure the area where gunmen killed four people, including two soldiers, after clashes erupted following the arrest of a Syrian accused of belonging to a jihadist group. AFP - Getty Images

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Syrian rebels who crossed into Lebanon and raided a border town have killed eight Lebanese soldiers, the military said Sunday, as clashes there continued overnight in the most serious spillover yet in the tiny country from its neighbor's civil war. The fighting took place in Arsal, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the capital, Beirut, where local television footage showed wailing ambulances racing into town and soldiers standing guard just outside its limits. Lebanese military forces sealed off the area, preventing reporters from approaching the town.

The fighting began Saturday, hours after the army said troops detained Syrian citizen Imad Ahmad Jomaa, who identified himself as a member of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. The National News Agency said Jomaa was detained as he was being brought to a hospital in Lebanon after being wounded while fighting Syrian troops. The Nusra Front is one of the most powerful groups fighting to overthrow the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It has a strong presence in northern and central Syria, as well around its eastern border with Lebanon.


- The Associated Press