Fire kills six people at Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 01, 2015 9:27 AM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least six people were killed when dozens of tents at a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley caught fire on Monday, security sources said.

At least 160 of the roughly 300 tents, which housed around 600 people, were burned and several people were missing, the sources said, adding that the cause of the fire was not immediately known.

"The bodies were totally burned and cannot be recognized. Some are children," a source said.

The four-year conflict in Syria has forces millions of Syrian to flee their homes. Around 1.7 million Syrians are refugees in neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

In Lebanon, where a quarter of the population are now refugees, the authorities have barred the United Nations from opening official camps. The displaced are scattered across some 1,700 communities.

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Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in dire conditions. Many live in makeshift settlements, sheds, garages and unfinished buildings. Some of the tents are made from old billboard posters.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Tom Heneghan)