Anti-Syrian Tensions Escalate In Bcharre Following Shooting

Political Pen/NNA

The Lebanese Army was heavily deployed in the northern region of Bcharre on Tuesday to restore calm after a Lebanese native of Bcharre was shot and killed by a Syrian national the previous night.

Following the incident, tensions escalated as Bcharre residents expelled Syrians from the town, the state-run National News Agency reported Monday night.

The Lebanese Army in a tweet Tuesday announced that it was conducting “foot and mechanized patrols in Bcharre to restore calm to the region after tensions escalated following the shooting.”

The Army said that the killer has turned himself in to the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and investigations were underway. While the reason behind the shooting has not yet been disclosed, local media reported that the incident occurred following a dispute between the two men.

Videos circulating on social media showed anti-Syrian protests erupting in front of the local government building Monday night, demanding the deportation of Syrians from the area. Some residents reportedly set fire to some belongings and homes of Syrian residents in the town.

In a report by LBC, District Deputy Sethrida Geagea rushed to call the Army Commander Joseph Aoun upon hearing of the incident, requesting that he put an immediate stop to the killer and maintain security within the town.

Geagea also phoned Freddy Keyrouz, the head of Bcharre’s municipality, requesting an urgent meeting to follow up on investigations.

District Deputy Joseph Ishak and Geagea also expressed their condolences to the family in a statement and called upon security forces and the army to conduct a thorough investigation of Syrian-occupied houses in the area to certify that no weapons are within their possession.

However, it is worth nothing that according to the UN Refugee Agency in Lebanon, more than 1 million Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon, having fled the socio-political crisis in their homeland.

In 2017, roughly 40 percent of displaced Syrians living illegally in the northern town of Bcharre had left following a municipality order.

In the same year, the Lebanese Army had ordered the eviction of nearly 10,000 refugees living in informal settlements.

Even recently, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, Lebanese President Michel Aoun urged the world to assist Lebanon in the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

As of now, the future of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon doesn’t seem bright, as Bcharre resident’s anger is still at a boiling point.

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Anti-Syrian Tensions Escalate In Bcharre Following Shooting

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