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Conflict Incident Report
ISF arrests 34 people near Syrian border
The Internal Security Forces Tuesday arrested 34 people, including 13 children, on the outskirts of the Western Bekaa town of Suweiri.
The ISF statement provided no further details, but the town is a known first stop for Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country, due to the well-trodden smuggling routes that cross over the rough mountain terrain separating Lebanon and Syria.
The route skirts just south of the road leading to the official Lebanese border crossing at Masnaa, located in a valley deep below.
At least 16 Syrians, including several women and children, died last month when they got caught in a snow storm on the outskirts of Suweiri. The father of one survivor told The Daily Star at the time that his family had been fleeing shelling in Albukamal near eastern Syria’s Deir al-Zor.
Lebanon in 2015 stopped registering refugees and made conditions for entry for Syrians more difficult, which human rights organizations say has led to an increase in smuggling over dangerous rugged terrain.