Hundreds of Syrian Refugees Flee Lebanon Camp After Tents Were Set on Fire

Over 300 Syrian refugees fled an informal camp in north Lebanon after a fire burned the tents to the ground following a dispute between Lebanese citizens and camp residents, officials said on Dec. 27.

Over 300 Syrian refugees fled an informal camp in north Lebanon after a fire burned the tents to the ground following a dispute between Lebanese citizens and camp residents, officials said on Dec. 27.

According to the Lebanese civil defense, the fire raged for four hours last Dec. 26, forcing the Syrian refugees to flee their makeshift camp.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Spokesman Khaled Kabarra said that at least four people were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Kabarra also said that around 375 refugees lived in the camp and fled to other encampments or in vacant schools and hotels.

Local media reported that a clash between a Lebanese family in the northern Miniyeh region and Syrians living in the campsite led to angry Lebanese youths setting the camp on fire.

The Lebanese army said in a statement on Dec. 27 that it has arrested two Lebanese citizens and six Syrians “following an individual clash…which soon developed into shooting in the air by Lebanese young men who also deliberately set the displaced Syrians’ tents on fire.”

Lebanese Republic Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian condemned the burning of the camp as “a heinous crime that deserves severe punishment to those who carried out this disgraceful act against humanity,” as reported by Lebanon’s state-owned National News Agency.

“The displaced Syrians in Lebanon are distinguished guests and we must help and support them until they return to their country,” Derian also said.

Lebanon hosts over 1 million Syrian refugees and tensions between the refugees and locals have been rising in the last years as Lebanon faces a financial crisis.


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