Lebanese soldiers die as Syria rebels raid border town

A Lebanese army's armoured personal carrier (APC) drives to the entrance of the town of Arsal in the Bekaa valley by the Syrian border on 2 August 2014 Lebanese soldiers enter the town of Arsal on Saturday

Eight Lebanese soldiers have been killed in clashes with Syrian rebels who raided the border town of Arsal in Lebanon on Saturday.

The fighting broke out on Saturday after Lebanese soldiers detained an alleged member of the Syrian Islamist group Nusra Front.

On Sunday morning, the fighting was continuing in the mainly Sunni town.

The area has been the scene of regular tension between the Lebanese army and Syrian militias.

Throughout the night, troops battled the gunmen who fired mortar shells at Arsal and the surrounding region, the Lebanese army said.

At least two Lebanese civilians were also reported to have been killed in the clashes.

On Saturday, the Syrian fighters briefly seized a police station in the town, which is home to thousands of refugees from the war in Syria.

A Nusra Front spokesman told Reuters news agency they were demanding the release of a leader, Emad Jumaa, after he was arrested at a checkpoint near the town.

Lebanon Syria map

The Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, has been fighting along with other rebel groups against the Syrian government.

Lebanon - with a population of about five million - now hosts more than a million Syrian refugees.

More on This Story

Syria's war War in Syria

Related Stories

More Middle East stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsCrossed lines

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.