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Conflict Incident Report

2 workers arrested for pollution of Zahle river

Date of incident: 
February 25, 2018
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Civilians
Internal Security Forces (ISF)

Two people arrested over their alleged involvement in an incident that turned Zahle’s Berdawni River red were released Monday, a security source told The Daily Star. The two men were workers clearing a recently closed chocolate factory in Zahle and were removing bags of a powdered food dye used to color sweets. It is believed that some of the coloring entered the river when the workers went to wash the powder from the back of the truck, causing the discoloration, the source told The Daily Star.

“They [the workers] headed to Hzarta [town] to clean the truck and the place where they did so happened to be close to the outlet to the Berdawni River, causing it to turn red,” the source said. “The workers were arrested and released within 24 hours because they didn’t know what the bags contained and the impact they would have.”

This security incident was mapped according to the closest possible location.
Primary category: 
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Power & governance conflicts
Violent or non-violent conflicts associated with antagonisms related to internal political tensions between local and/or national groups and parties. These tensions may be encouraged by internal, regional and international parties. Such conflicts are characterized by their defiance and/or opposition to central State power and governance.