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Feb 26, 7:30 AM EST

Lebanese army seizes 2 border outposts from militants

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BEIRUT (AP) -- The Lebanese army says it has seized two hilltop positions along the border from Syria-based Islamic militants.

In a statement Thursday, it says the operation is in line with efforts to secure villages near the eastern border with neighboring Syria.

Three soldiers were wounded in the operation, during which militant positions were shelled with artillery and heavy weaponry, it added.

The statement did not name the militants, but most are believed to be from the Islamic State group. They and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front have been holding around 20 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage since August.

The army frequently clashes with the militants in their hideouts near the Syria border.

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