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Lebanese army battles Syrian militants near border


LABWEH, Lebanon (AP) — Hundreds of Lebanese civilians are fleeing an eastern border town that was overrun by militants from neighboring Syria as Lebanese troops fight to liberate the area.

It’s the most serious spillover of violence from the civil war in neighboring Syria into tiny Lebanon.

The civilians were streaming out of Arsal in cars and pickup trucks on Monday, fearing more violence as the Lebanese army brought reinforcements to the area.

About a dozen flatbed trucks carrying Lebanese army tanks were seen headed to the outskirts of the town of Arsal.

The three-day fighting has killed at least 11 Lebanese troops so far and 13 others are missing after Syrian militants made a cross-border raid and overran army positions in the area.

The Lebanese army has vowed to defeat the extremists.