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Lebanese army attacks seek to expel refugees from Lebanon

Najat al-Baik, a 5-year-old refugee girl from Maarret al-Nu'man was killed in Friday's raids. Photo: activists

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Syrian refugees who endured to major assault by Lebanese army on Friday say fighting terrorism is no major than pretext to expel Syrians from the border town of Arsal.

Zaman al-Wasl reporter who interviewed many of Arsal refugees said the displaced Syrian in Lebanon are afraid of Hezbollah plans to encircle the refugees and forcing them to accept reconciliation agreement with the Syrian regime.

Friday's attacks left 18 refugees killed and 400 more people arrested when the Lebanese army raided two refugee camps in the Arsal area.




Five suicide bombers attacked Lebanese soldiers and a sixth militant threw a hand grenade at a patrol, the army said. The army said seven soldiers were wounded and a girl was killed after one of the suicide bombers blew himself up in the midst of a family of refugees, Reuters reported.




The Lebanese army has in recent months stepped up raids in the makeshift camps built on the edge of Arsal, where refugees live in squalid conditions.

Lebanon say the camps around the town have long been a haven for militants coming from Syria who have clashed with Lebanese forces conducting security raids searching for suspects hiding among the refugees.

The U.N. refugee agency says Lebanon hosts more than 1 million registered Syrian refugees - constituting a quarter of its population.

According to Reuters, the Lebanese government puts the number at 1.5 million. They are scattered across the country in informal tented settlements where many face the risk of arrest due to lack of legal residency that they struggle to obtain.


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