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Syrian-Lebanese tensions rise, again

The death of four Syrians in Lebanese army custody has triggered an uproar and heightened Syrian-Lebanese animosities.
Syrian Refugees are seen at a damaged site after a fire broke out inside their camp in Bar Elias town, in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon July 4, 2017. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah - RTX39Y5W
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Tensions threaten to reach new highs this summer in Lebanon amid calls on social media to attack Syrian refugees and allegations that several Syrians detained by the Lebanese army had been tortured to death. “We are witnessing a rise in tensions between Syrians and Lebanese,” Prime Minister Saad Hariri acknowledged July 15 during a meeting at the Grand Serail, government headquarters in Beirut. “The entire country feels the weight [of the refugees].”

Amid chronic economic and social problems, Lebanon now hosts the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Syrians constitute roughly a quarter of Lebanon’s small population, estimated at 4-5 million people.

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