A fire broke out at a refugee camp housing 75 Syrian families in Miniyeh, Lebanon, on December 26, Lebanese Civil Defense said.
The fire was extinguished after midnight after burning for four hours, Lebanese Civil Defense said. One person was transferred to a hospital after experiencing shortness of breath, they added.
Lebanon’s army said on Sunday it had arrested eight people after a dispute led a group of Lebanese nationals to set fire to an informal refugee settlement in the country’s north.
The army said it “arrested two Lebanese nationals and six Syrians over a personal dispute … between a number of Lebanese men and Syrian workers,” according to a statement.
“The Lebanese men fired bullets in the air and torched the tents of Syrian refugees,” it added, without elaborating on the cause of the altercation.
The fire on Saturday night tore through the tented shelters of some 75 families near the town of Bhanine in the north Lebanon Miniyeh region, leaving only a charred wasteland. “The fire has spread to all the tented shelters” — made of plastic sheeting and wood — UNHCR spokesman Khaled Kabbara told AFP
The camp’s more than 390 residents were forced to flee, according to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, and at least four people were taken to hospital for injuries. However, Khaled Kabarra, a spokesman for the UN refugee agency, said the nearly 400 residents who fled the camp went to other enclosed encampments or found temporary shelter in vacant schools and hotels.
Damascus has urged Lebanon’s judicial authorities and security forces to “shoulder their responsibility” to ensure that its nationals were protected. “Syria regrets the fire … that terrified its inhabitants and deprived them of a shelter,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement on state media.