Syrian children harvest onions from an agriculture field in the town of Rayak in the Bekaa valley, central Lebanon, on June 15, 2016. AFP / JOSEPH EID
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Under the scorching sun, Mohammad, 27, often searches for a job in the district of Baalbek until the late afternoon. A Syrian man from Aleppo with tar-stained teeth, he says the municipality has maintained a curfew on refugees who are languishing in tented settlements in the area. After a wave of suicide bombers attacked the border village of Al-Qaa on June 27, the governor of Baalbek, Bashir Khodor, imposed what was supposed to be a temporary curfew on Syrian nationals. A 2014 Human Rights Watch report revealed that at least 45 municipalities imposed a curfew on Syrians, many of which were enforced after clashes broke out between extremist groups and the Lebanese Army in the border village of Arsal.Whether curfews are encouraging local residents to attack Syrians is less of a concern for Mohammad, who said that refugees fear reprisal from security forces more than anyone else. Just last week, 30 Syrian men were detained in Baalbek after their tented settlements were raided in the middle of the night. Khodor defended the need to carry out raids in refugee camps before stating that the curfew in Baalbek was lifted two weeks ago, even though many Syrians remain unaware that it's been removed.
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