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Fire engulfs Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon as plight grows

Syrians in Lebanon face arbitrary arrests, raids and deportation.
Syrian refugees salvage belongings from the wreckage of their shelters at a camp set on fire overnight in the northern Lebanese town of Bhanine on Dec. 27, 2020.

BEIRUT — A massive fire broke out at a Syrian refugee camp in northern Lebanon on Friday in the latest tragedy to hit refugees who already face a growing crackdown in the country.

The blaze quickly spread throughout the camp amid an extreme heatwave. Several tents burned down, but no human casualties were reported.

The Lebanese Civil Defense quickly arrived at the scene and managed to extinguish the flames. A Civil Defense official told the US-funded, Arabic-language Al-Hurra news site that the fire was likely caused by an electrical short circuit and quickly engulfed the camp due to the high temperatures.

On Thursday, firefighters put out a blaze at another refugee camp in Sidon in the south. The Civil Defense said in a tweet that a number of people were injured and moved to a nearby hospital.

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