The Lebanese army yesterday said it had thwarted an attempt to smuggle 11 irregular migrants out of the country by water from the northern city of Tripoli.
"The Lebanese naval forces have managed to thwart an attempt to smuggle 10 Syrians and a Lebanese, aboard a boat off Tripoli's coast," the military said in a statement.
Irregular migration attempts to Europe, especially Cyprus, from Lebanon have surged in recent months due to the deteriorating economic and social conditions and the high rates of poverty in the Arab country.
There are currently around 2.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, only 900,000 of whom are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the majority of whom suffer from terrible living conditions and poverty.
Last week the Nahr Ibrahim Municipality in the coastal Byblos District issued a notice obliging foreigners and Syrians to abide by a curfew from 9 pm and 6 am, warning of the potential deportation of those who do not comply. It said the measures were necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus.