1967 to 1970 Biafra Genocide

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lebanese Army Raids Syrian Refugee Camps After Suicide Bombings

Lebanese Army Raids Syrian Refugee Camps After Suicide Bombings


No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which eight bombers killed five people


Lebanese Army Raids Syrian Refugee Camps After Suicide Bombings
A Lebanese army soldier stands on an armored personnel carrier during a patrol in Qaa, a predominantly Lebanese Christian town near the Syrian border where suicide bombers blew themselves up among civilians on Monday. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lebanon’s army raided Syrian refugee camps and politicians called for a border clampdown, a day after a series of suicide bombings in the predominantly Christian border town of Qaa.
Lebanese forces descended on camps in the northeast on Tuesday, arresting more than 100 people for not having legal papers and confiscating motorcycles, state media said. Several bombers had arrived in Qaa on such vehicles on Monday.
A curfew for Syrian refugees will be enforced there and another mostly Christian town, it said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which eight bombers killed five people. Two of the attackers blew themselves up near a church.
The Sunni Muslim terror group Islamic State has taken responsibility for previous bombings in Lebanon, mostly targeting Shiite Muslim areas in retaliation for the Shiite militant group Hezbollah’s military support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.Lebanese security forces have for years battled Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in northern border areas of Lebanon, where Islamic State maintains some territorial control.
With more than one million registered Syrians, Lebanon is host to one of the largest Syrian refugee populations, according to the United Nations. Many more live in the country without official registration. The influx has at times threatened to upset already fraught sectarian tensions and destabilize the small, Mediterranean nation.
“The movement of the Syrian refugees should be controlled and monitored through permits given by the security apparatuses after they are gathered in one camp,” parliament member Walid Sukariyeh, who belongs to a Hezbollah political bloc, told local radio.
Lebanese security forces have since 2014 occasionally clashed with Islamic State and Nusra Front fighters in and around Arsal, a northern Sunni town.
Lebanese security officers and soldiers were kidnapped that year by the militants, and some are still held.
Nadim Houry, Middle East deputy director for Human Rights Watch, said he was concerned about a potentially harsh response to Monday’s attacks by Lebanon’s military. Syrian refugees have been caught in security forces’ wide dragnet following previous attacks, with some mistreated and tortured, he said.
“That is a concern and it comes amid a populist political discourse that is trying to present the refugees as the source of all ill,” he added. “It’s not about whether the army should be doing anything, of course they should do something to protect the people. It’s how they go about doing it, and are they being effective.”
Write to Raja Abdulrahim at raja.abdulrahim@wsj.com