Syrian Refugees Flood Into Lebanon

June 25th, 2011 at 8:35 am | No Comments |

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The Associated Press reports:

Hundreds of Syrians, some with gunshot wounds, have crossed into neighboring Lebanon in search of a refuge from the growing violence in their homeland, a Lebanese security official said Saturday.

Most arriving at the border came shortly after Syrian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters across Syria on Friday. Syrian activists said 20 people were killed, including two children aged 12 and 13.

The Local Coordination Committees, a group tracking the Syria protests, said most of the deaths occurred in the Barzeh neighborhood of the capital, Damascus, and in the suburb of al-Kaswa. Others died when security forces opened fire in the central city of Homs, sending residents fleeing to the Lebanese border 20 miles (30 kilometers) away.

The Syrian opposition says some 1,400 people have been killed as the government has cracked down on a movement demanding an end to four decades of Assad family rule — a popular uprising renewed each Friday after weekly Muslim prayers.

The violence has prompted thousands of Syrians to seek a safe haven in neighboring countries. Up to 1,000 crossed Friday and overnight into northern Lebanon’s Akkar region, near Wadi Khaled, a Lebanese security official said. Most crossed into the border village of Kneiseh from the Syrian village of al-Quseir, where Syrian activists said security forces fired on protesters Friday

At least six Syrians with gunshot wounds were among the arrivals, the Lebanese official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations. The wounded were receiving treatment in Akkar hospitals.

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