TRIPOLI/BAALBEK, Lebanon: Assailants set fire to Syrian refugee tents in northern Lebanon Sunday, hours after gunmen shot dead a Syrian child and wounded a man in the northeast following a day of incitement against Syrians in the country sparked by the execution of a captive policeman.
A security source told The Daily Star that the tents, located in the town of Mashha in Akkar, housed a number of Syrian refugee families.
No casualties were registered.
Akkar Mayor Zakaria al-Zoghbi condemned the attack and called on political and security forces to identify and arrest the criminals, according to the state-run National News Agency.
The attack on the camp was the second of its kind in as many days.
Syrian refugee tents were also burned in Mashha early Saturday, after a statement was issued by local residents demanding Syrians leave the village.
Early Sunday, unidentified gunmen also opened fire on Syrian refugee tents in the northeastern town of Ras Baalbek, a security source said.
He said one Syrian child was killed and a Syrian man wounded in the attack.
Residents of the town of Bazzalieh also issued a warning overnight Saturday to all Syrians residing in areas surrounding the town, calling on refugees to immediately evacuate the area.
Tensions between refugees and Lebanese host communities heightened after the family of a policeman killed by the Nusra Front vowed Saturday to prevent aid from reaching Syrian refugees.
During a press conference Saturday, the family of policeman Ali Bazzal killed by the Nusra Front Friday described Syrians living in Arsal, the northeastern region bordering Syria, as “a bunch of terrorist, takfiris and not refugees, and that was evident when they attacked the Army in Arsal.”
“We will not allow any international or local organization to transport aid to these terrorists ..., and anyone who blocks a road in solidarity with them will be supporting terrorists.”
Hours after the Nusra Front announced that it had executed Bazzal in a tweet with a picture of a man said to be of the captive with a machine gun firing shots at his head, residents of Bazzalieh kidnapped three men near the town.
The kidnappers shot and wounded a Syrian man who accompanied the three. He was transferred to a Baalbek hospital.
The three have since been released.
Meanwhile families of the remaining 25 Lebanese captives Sunday continued blocking the Qalamoun road in north Lebanon linking Tripoli to Beirut. The families closed the road Saturday after news emerged of Bazzal's killing late-Friday.