Borj el-Shamali Municipality Gives Syrians Ultimatum to Evacuate Encampment

The Municipality of Borj el-Shamali in the southern district of Tyre gave Syrian refugees on Monday a 48 hours ultimatum to evacuate their tents and leave the town or they will have to bear the consequences.

“The decision was taken to safeguard the Syrian workers and to maintain the security in the area,” head of Borj el-Shamali municipality Ali Deeb told the state-run National News Agency.

He stressed that the Syrian encampment in the area was erected on a land that belongs to the municipality.

There are around 200 tents in the town.

“We reject any assault against Syrian refugees and the taken measure is a precaution to prevent any hostile action as we don't have accurate details on those who are entering and leaving the encampment,” Deeb said.

There has been growing resentment by the Lebanese people against the refugees given the recent developments in the country, most notably the abduction of a number of soldiers and policemen by Islamists from the northeastern town of Arsal in August.

The militants have beheaded two of the captives, sparking angry protests by their families, who have blocked roads and staged demonstrations throughout Lebanon.

Tents housing Syrian refugees in encampments in Beirut's southern suburb neighborhoods of al-Lailaki and Hay al-Sellom were torched after news emerged on the beheading.

Other refugees were given an ultimatum to leave the towns they are residing.

There are fears that Syrian refugees would be assaulted in retaliation to the beheading of the two army soldiers, however, the Islamic groups warned of any revenge act.

In May, the Lebanese authorities took a decision to ban Syrian refugees from heading to their country or lose their status.

Hosting more than 1.1 million Syrians fleeing their country's three-year war, Lebanon is home to the highest number of Syrian refugees in the region, and also to the highest refugee population per capita in the world.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam appealed to the people on Sunday to “have faith in the government's handling of the file,” calling against taking any retaliatory action against Syrians.



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