Lebanon News

Lebanon border regions calm after Syrian gunfire, shelling

The Syrian-Lebanese border checkpoint is seen in the eastern village of Masharih al-Qaa, Lebanon, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BEKAA/TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Calm returned to the Lebanese border towns of Masharih al-Qaa and Buqaya Thursday a day after Syrians fired machine guns and a mortar salvo.

Security sources in east Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley said Syrians fired seven mortar shells around 9 p.m. Wednesday into al-Joura in Masharih al-Qaa, but they all fell in uninhabited areas.

No casualties were reported as a result of Syrian gunfire that hit several homes in al-Joura and nearby al-Dawra.

In north Lebanon, security sources said three of four percussion bombs tossed from the Syrian side of the border before midnight landed near civilian homes in the Akkar village of Buqaya, causing no casualties or material damage.

The sources, speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, said the shooting was an apparent response to infiltration attempts across the border.

They said the gunfire, which lasted about four hours, stopped shortly after midnight.

Meanwhile, dozens of families have fled violence in the Syrian city of Quseir near Homs into Masharih al-Qaa over the past 48 hours.

There are now around 12,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, according to the U.N. refugee agency in its latest weekly report.

While only 7,088 refugees are registered in the north of Lebanon – with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and Lebanon’s Higher Relief Council – the report also acknowledges that there are around 4,000 unregistered refugees in the Bekaa Valley, and “approximately 1,000 more receiving assistance from the UNHCR and partners in other parts of Lebanon,” including south of Beirut.





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