Up to 400 Syrians from around the rebel-held central town of Qusayr have fled for neighboring Lebanon in the past 24 hours, a Lebanese security official said on Tuesday.
"Among them are men, women and children," the official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.
"They were fleeing villages near the town of Qusayr which have been taken over by the Syrian army in the past few hours," the official added.
A Syrian security official told AFP on Monday that the army hoped to eliminate the last pockets of resistance in the central city of Homs and nearby Qusayr by the end of the week to free up troops for battle zones in the north, such as Aleppo.
Many of the villagers crossed the border on foot, while others came by motorbike or donkey, an AFP journalist in the eastern Bekaa Valley said.
The Syrian side of the frontier near Qusayr is heavily mined.
"We fled the shelling on our village, Nizariyeh," on the edge of Qusayr, said Qassem al-Masri, who arrived on Tuesday in the Bekaa town of Arsal.
"All hell has broken loose on our village. Many people have died, and many others have fled," Masri, aged 45, told AFP. "Our village is now practically empty."
Masri arrived in Lebanon by motorbike, which he rode with his wife and his two children.
Meanwhile an AFP journalist saw ambulances along the roads in the Bekaa near the border that transported wounded people who have been smuggled across to the relative safety of Lebanon.
"Because of their villages' proximity to Lebanon, many people from Qusayr have family in the towns and villages of the Bekaa," Qusayr resident and citizen journalist Hussein told AFP via the Internet.
"The road is dangerous, especially for families with children," said Hussein.
"That is why people tried to hold off as long as possible before they fled. But now that the army has entered some of the villages, there is no way they can stay. There is too much violence."
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees office in Beirut is in the process of verifying the latest figures.
As of October 5, there were at least 85,000 Syrian refugees receiving assistance from the U.N. and its partners in Lebanon.
Activists say the actual number of people forced to flee the conflict into Lebanon is higher.
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