Nine Syrian refugees freeze to death while fleeing to Lebanon

Sergio Conner
January 21, 2018

Lebanon, a country of four million, hosts over one million Syrians who have sought refuge from the war raging in their homeland since 2011 - the second-largest population of Syrian refugees in the region, and the highest per capita population of refugees in the world.

According to the sources, three children were among the victims, who lost their lives as they attempted to cross into Lebanon from neighboring Syria.

It said that "others in the group, including a pregnant woman, were discovered in time and assisted by nearby residents and the Lebanese Armed Forces and Civil Defense to reach hospitals before they froze to death".

Lebanese civil defence officials found the bodies after being told a group of refugees were in trouble near Masnaa. However, the toll has since increased.

Fifteen bodies, including children, have been uncovered so far after members of the Lebanese army stumbled upon the tragic scene following a fierce winter storm. "It rescued six others, one of whom died in the hospital as a result of frostbite", it said.

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Numerous refugees live in informal tented settlements in the country's east and struggle to stay warm in the winter.

Lebanon took in around 1.5 million Syrian refugees at the height of Syria's conflict, now in its seventh year.

The UN agency further called on the global community to step up assistance for the most affected children.

The bodies of 12 Syrian refugees who crossed into Lebanon were found frozen Friday in a mountainous area near the border, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported.

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