Beirut, Lebanon – The killing of a Lebanese soldier, who had been kidnapped a month ago during Arsal battles in eastern Lebanon, by militants fighters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL), caused sectarian tensions between Lebanese people and Syrian refugees in some border areas.
According to activists, two Syrian refugees were killed in Lebanese Bekaa on Tuesday by an unknown group, while several others were reportedly beaten.
“Apparently, the Syrian refugees in Lebanon pay the price of IS extremism in Syria,” a Syrian opposition activist told ARA News in Beirut.
During the last few days, Bekaa region in eastern Lebanon saw several cases of attacking and kidnapping by locals against Syrian refugees on “Sunni-Shiite” sectarian basis.
Since Sunday, angry Lebanese started attacking Syrians and blocking roads to show “sympathy” with the family of the Shiite soldier who was recently beheaded by militants of IS in Syria.
IS members had previously kidnapped and executed another Sunni Lebanese soldier.
According to sources in Bekaa, a group of unidentified people burnt several tents where Syrian refugees were taking shelter.
“We have been shocked as well by the news of beheading of the Lebanese soldiers, but why are the poor refugees supposed to pay the price of IS crimes? We are victims of such brutality ourselves,” the refugee said.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs confirmed the occurrence of some incidents against Syrians in Lebanon.
“The Lebanese people are afraid of Syrians now. All these happenings created an unstable situation and violence,” Minister Rashid Derbas said.
Derbas also condemned the decision of some Lebanese municipalities to expel Syrian refugees under the pretext of avoiding further escalation.
According to official statistics, Lebanon hosts 1.3 million Syrians who escaped the three-year-old war in their country.
Reporting by: Suleiman Mohammed
Source: ARA News
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