Refugees pack up belongings to leave the informal tented settlement near the Bekaa Valley’s Riyaq military airport (The Daily Star/Ghinwa Obeid)
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'Security reasons' force refugees in Bekaa to relocateTheir belongings were left scattered on the ground in the place that until last week had been their temporary home near the Bekaa Valley's Riyaq military airport. The eviction order was confirmed by both security sources and the United Nation's refugee agency, but had already become widely known among the local refugee population in Zahle's industrial zone and pickup – areas close to the military airport.Affected towns stretch from north to central Bekaa," UNHCR's Assistant Communications and Public Information Officer Lisa Abou Khaled told The Daily Star.She said that the agency communicated with the concerned authorities including the Bekaa Gov. Bashir Khodr, the Army and local municipalities to discuss ways to factor in an acceptable time for refugees to find an alternative camp. Fleeing Syria's Idlib Governorate in 2012, Matar expressed fear that his family would be forced to move as well.Touching on the possibility of others using the refugees and the location of their tents near the Riyaq airport for surveillance of the Army, Matar explained that residents of the camp know each other and that it is highly unlikely that their camp could be infiltrated.
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