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Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon evacuated days after being set on fire Open in fullscreen

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Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon evacuated days after being set on fire

Lebanon is home to an estimated 1.5 to 2 million refugees who fled Syria [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 June, 2019

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Syrian refugee families in Lebanon's Bekaa valley have dismantled their tents in preparation to leave an area where tensions with locals have worsened in recent days.
Dozens of Syrian refugees have dismantled their tents in a camp they lived in for years in eastern Lebanon after authorities ordered their evacuation following a brawl with locals.

Jean Fakhry, a Lebanese official from Deir al-Ahmar in the Bekaa valley, said on Sunday the decision to evacuate the 90 tents was to avoid further friction.

A fight broke out last week between camp residents and Lebanese firefighters who arrived to put out a fire. More than 30 Syrians were arrested and unknown assailants burned down three tents.

Samar Awad, a 27-year-old Syrian, said camp residents are moving to a new area, miles away, with no water or electricity.

Lebanon is home to an estimated 1.5 to 2 million refugees who have fled the conflict that erupted in 2011 when the Syrian regime repressed initially peaceful protests.

Read More: Hundreds left homeless after 'unknown attackers' set Syrian refugee camp on fire in Lebanon

Lebanon's economic and other woes are routinely blamed on Syrian refugees by local politicians and the government has ratcheted up the pressure to send them back.

More than 500,000 people have also been killed in Syria, mostly because of regime bombing of civilian areas. 

Those who have escaped the country have often found themselves in overcrowded refugee camps. Further pressure has been placed on the camps by the displacement of tens of thousands of people in the latest regime assault on Idlib.

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