Syrians in Lebanon hit by arrests, curfews and hostility after bombings

By REUTERS
July 25, 2016 16:41
1 minute read.

 
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BEIRUT  - Suicide bombings in Lebanon last month have prompted mass arrests, curfews and reported vigilante-style attacks directed at the large Syrian refugee population, leaving many Syrians in the country feeling fearful and cornered.

The security measures are making it harder for Syrians, who already fear arbitrary arrest, to move around or work, according to refugees and rights activists. Some also feel increasing hostility being directed at them from the general population in some areas, they added.

"We're scared," said one refugee in a camp in the Bekaa valley, asking not to be named. "There was a big raid at dawn a few days ago. (The army) came in, hit people and arrested people with no papers, or expired papers.

"If anyone tried to run away they would fire in the air."

Lebanon, a country with a long history of sectarian strife, has been strained by the five-year-old civil war next door and hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, who make up about a quarter of its population.

It has been repeatedly hit by security incidents linked the Syrian conflict, including Sunni militant attacks. Powerful Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim movement Hezbollah is fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad.

In the latest attack, on June 27, eight suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Lebanese Christian village of Qaa near the Syrian border, killing five people.

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