Aid groups urge Lebanon army to halt punitive refugee raids

The groups said military personnel used sledgehammers to partially demolished homes on grounds that they violated a recent military order.

9 August 2019 | 20:11

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 9 August 2019 | 20:11

In this Sunday, June 16, 2019 file photo, Syrian refugees demolish a concrete wall built inside their tent at a refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese border town of Arsal, Lebanon. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: Dozens of international aid groups are calling on Lebanese armed forces to put an end to a campaign of dismantling homes of Syrian refugees, calling it “punitive” and “traumatic.”

The statement by 51 groups Friday comes following reports that Lebanese armed forces personnel raided a community of 350 Syrian refugee homes in settlements in the northern town of Akkar around dawn a day earlier.

The groups said military personnel used sledgehammers to partially demolished homes on grounds that they violated a recent military order.

Earlier this year, the military gave refugees until July 1 to remove any concrete walls taller than waist high— a measure designed to keep their homes temporary.

Lebanon is home to over 1 million Syrian refugees, a strain on the small country’s resources.

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