Naharnet

Lebanon to Turn in 3 Syrian Soldiers to their Authorities as Refugees Continue to Flood to North

The Lebanese military is about to hand in three Syrian enlisted soldiers to their authorities after they fled Syria’s crackdown to northern Lebanon from the village of Tall Kalakh, An Nahar newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“One of the enlisted soldiers is being treated for injuries he suffered after being shot at along with the other two soldiers,” the daily said.

Human rights organizations began moving against this action saying handing the three soldiers to their authorities “is in violation of the Geneva Convention and doesn’t comply with the security agreement between Lebanon and Syria.”

Al-Jadid television confirmed on Monday that the Lebanese army handed its Syrian counterpart the body of a Syrian soldier and two soldiers who were treated at a hospital in Halba.

Thousands of Syrians have poured into north Lebanon this month using illegal border crossings to escape the violence unleashed on protesters by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

On Monday alone, more than 1,000 people arrived in Dbabiyeh, a village in the Akkar region of north Lebanon, according to attorney Khaled Issa, who has volunteered to help the refugees.

Several people interviewed by Agence France Presse said pro-government gunmen had "massacred" two families in cold blood, including all their children.

In the Lebanese village of al-Beereh, where hundreds sought refuge early on Monday, one woman said she had witnessed four of her family members die before deciding to flee.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 other Syrians have entered Lebanon this month, Ahmad Khalaf, who heads the ministry of social affair's development bureau in al-Beereh, told AFP.

More than 850 people have been killed in the protests in Syria and at least 8,000 arrested, human rights groups say.(Naharnet-AFP)


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