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Lebanon sends army to Syria border as rebels flee

Lebanese forces sought to prevent violence from spilling over after rebels fled into the country when their last border-area stronghold fell into Syrian government hands.
Lebanese forces sought to prevent violence from spilling over after rebels fled into the country when their last border-area stronghold fell into Syrian government hands. Hussein Malla/Associated Press

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LABWEH, Lebanon — The Lebanese army sent commandos to the tense border with Syria on Monday, as fears rose that the ongoing flight of rebels from one of their fallen strongholds into a flashpoint region of Lebanon would trigger the latest spillover of the Syrian civil war into its neighbor.

Lebanon has been on edge since the central Syrian town of Yabroud was taken by President Bashar Assad’s troops on Sunday. Its rebel defenders started pouring into the Lebanese Sunni-dominated town of Arsal, which is surrounded by Shi’ite villages guarded by pro-Assad Hezbollah militants.

Sectarian violence between Lebanon’s Sunnis and Shi’ites linked to Syria’s civil war has left scores of people dead in recent months.

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