Militant Islamists withdrew from a Lebanese border town they seized at the weekend, ending five days of deadly fighting but taking with them captured Lebanese soldiers as hostages, militant and security sources said on Thursday.

Muslim clerics who had been mediating an end to the conflict in Arsal said they would negotiate for the release of remaining captives held by Sunni militants whose incursion marked the most serious spillover of Syria’s civil war into Lebanese territory.

Dozens of people were killed in the battle between the army and Islamists from groups including the Islamic State, which has seized large areas of territory in Iraq and Syria. […]