Tents for Syrian refugees are seen set in Arsal, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Watfa Saifeddine didn't sleep Wednesday night. Having fled her hometown of Al-Sahel in Syria earlier in the day under heavy bombardment, she sought refuge in a small tented settlement in what was previously a no man's land on the outskirts of Arsal. The wider Arsal area, which previously had a population of 35,000, is now hosting a further 50,000 Syrian refugees.The informal tented settlement where Saifeddine lives sits on largely barren, privately owned Lebanese land just beyond the Army checkpoint that separates Arsal from Syria. More than 1,000 refugees have settled here since the start of this month, according to UNHCR. In Saifeddine's camp alone, some 110 families are packed into 70 tents."We don't have enough land in Arsal to erect more tents, so we've had to do it beyond the checkpoint," explained Ahmad Fliti, the town's deputy mayor.Some three to five families are now assigned to every tent, he said.
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