Women weep while receiving condolences for the fallen in Al-Qaa.
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A palpable sense of grief settled over the northern Bekaa Valley border village of Al-Qaa in the wake of four suicide explosions early Monday that left multiple casualties.Although there are no refugees in the village itself, Al-Qaa Mayor Bachir Matar explained that an established tented settlement nearby houses between 20,000 and 25,000 refugees, alongside a further 7,000 displaced Lebanese. The high concentration of Syrian refugees on the outskirts of Al-Qaa has distressed residents due to wide-held belief that terrorism breeds inside the settlements. Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwaji visited the region following the morning attacks to reassure residents and promised Matar that he would not neglect Al-Qaa.Matar said that residents of Al-Qaa who reside in Beirut will visit the village more often and no one will leave."They [militants] want a safe place, close to the border, to move from, but we – civilians and Army alike – have always been on the front lines to combat this".However, he considers Al-Qaa, along with the neighboring Muslim towns of Hermel, Labweh and others, as an example of tolerance. The village is very close to the Syrian border.
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