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Lebanese official says 8 soldiers killed while battling Syria-based militants near border

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BEIRUT — A Lebanese military official says a daylong battle with Syria-based militants near the border has killed eight soldiers.

The official says Lebanese troops found the bodies of three missing soldiers Saturday on the outskirts of the northeastern Lebanese village of Ras Baalbek.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, Lebanese army special forces patrol in armored personnel carriers near the area where militants ambushed Lebanese soldiers, in Ras Baalbek town, eastern Lebanon. Lebanese security officials and the state news agency said on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 that troops are clashing with militants who attacked army positions on the outskirts of a village on the Syrian border. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, Lebanese army special forces patrol in armored personnel carriers near the area where militants ambushed Lebanese soldiers, in Ras Baalbek town, eastern Lebanon. Lebanese security officials and the state news agency said on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 that troops are clashing with militants who attacked army positions on the outskirts of a village on the Syrian border. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Late Friday, an army statement said another five soldiers were killed in the fighting.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the attackers belong to the Islamic State group that controls large parts of Syria.

In August, al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and Islamic State group fighters conducted a joint raid in the border town of Arsal and captured some two dozen soldiers. Since then, they have killed four of the soldiers.

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