Lebanon has restricted the movement of Syrian refugees in the Deir El-Ahmar area until Friday after a fire engine was ambushed yesterday.
Governor of Baalbek, Bachir Khodr, imposed the severe restrictions on the refugees after a fireman was hopsitalised in the attack. A Syrian man is reported to have been involved in the attack.
On Twitter yesterday, Khodr said people in Deir El-Ahmar were calling to “burn the Syrian camps” and that the curfew was put in place to “protect the displaced [Syrians] and to calm the angry people.”
In a statement he said the containment of refugees would also allow Lebanese security services to follow up with the “aggressors” of the attack.
There are around 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon; 74 per cent do not have legal status. According to Human Rights Watch, this places them at risk of exploitation and prevents them from accessing work, education and healthcare.
In 2017, Lebanese officials called for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to organise the return of displaced Syrians despite the ongoing conflict and “well-founded fears of persecution held by many.”