Graves in Idlib
Photo: AP

UN: Up to 2,000 flee Syria violence into Lebanon

Heavy shelling from Syrian town of Qusair heard on Lebanese border; women, children seen fleeing by foot

Up to 2,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria are crossing the border into northern Lebanon, a spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency told Reuters on Sunday.


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"Between one and two thousand (Syrians) are in the process of coming from Syria to Lebanon," the UNHCR's deputy representative in Lebanon Jean Paul Cavalieri told Reuters.


"Numbers will become clear in the coming hours. This is what we are hearing from our teams on the ground and local authorities."




A Reuters witness on the Lebanese border heard heavy shelling coming from the nearby Syrian town of Qusair earlier on Sunday and saw mainly women and children fleeing towards Lebanon on foot.


"The people said they were sat at home and suddenly the shelling started and they fled. They said it was tank shelling and gunfire," said Reuters reporter Afif Diab.


Opposition activists reported Sunday that the Syrian army has been shelling rebel outposts in the city of Rastan – located some 20 kilometers from Homs – since the morning hours.


חומס בלהבות (צילום: AP)

The city of Homs in flames (Photo: AP)


As of Sunday afternoon, Syrian authorities have yet to allow Red Cross officials to enter the war-ravaged neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs.


Red Cross teams have begun distributing aid in Idlib village near Homs and plan to move to other neighborhoods sheltering families who have fled the battered district of Baba Amr.


"It is a positive step. But we want to enter Baba Amr today," stressed International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokesman Hicham Hassan in Geneva. According to him, assistance included food, blankets and hygiene kits, and first aid care provided volunteers. 




פרסום ראשון: 03.04.12, 16:08
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