BEIRUT, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese army said Sunday that eight of its soldiers were killed during the clashes with Syrian gunmen on Saturday on the outskirts of the eastern border town of Arsal.
The army said in a communique that "eight soldiers were killed and a number of soldiers were injured during the continued clashes with gunmen in the eastern Bekaa town of Arsal and on its outskirts bordering Syria."
The communique confirmed that the army units in the area had regained "complete control" of the Wadi Hamyyed area in Arsal, adding "it was also in the process of liberating some nearby hills. "
The army stressed that it is engaged in "fierce clashes with the gunmen to rid the area of the group."
Tension soared Saturday in Arsal when masked Syrian gunmen infiltrated Lebanon after the Lebanese army announced the arrest of al-Nusra Front official Imad Ahmed Jomaa.
Jomaa was arrested while being transferred to a hospital after he sustained injuries during battles on the outskirts of Arsal.
The gunmen surrounded army checkpoints and targeted military posts, while others stormed an Internal Security Forces post in the Bekaa region.
Clashes soon erupted between troops and the militants, resulting in the death of two soldiers and two civilians.
Arsal lies 12 km from the border with Syria and has been used as a channel for weapons and rebels to enter Syria, while also serving as a refuge for people fleeing the conflict.