Baby killed in fire at Syria refugee camp in Lebanon



BEIRUT, LEBANON- A fire ripped through an unofficial Syrian refugee camp in eastern Lebanon on Monday, killing a baby and injuring several others, a Red Cross official told AFP.
The fire broke out in a camp in the Al-Marj area of Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley.



"We transported the body of a baby, less than two years old, which was fully burned. It was not possible to tell if it was a girl or boy," a Red Cross official told AFP.
"An additional five people suffering from suffocation due to smoke inhalation were transported from the camp, but none were in severe condition," he added.
He said the baby had not yet been identified and the cause of the fire remained unclear.
Local municipal chief Nazem Deeb Yussef said the blaze had ravaged the camp, which he said housed around 2,500 people in some 250 tents.
"Half the camp is burned down," he told AFP.
"We don't know what caused it yet, but there is no reason to think it was arson, relations with the local community are good."
The incident is not the first time that fires have ripped through the often overcrowded and poorly constructed informal housing in which many Syrian refugees in Lebanon live.
Lebanon is hosting nearly 1.2 million registered Syrian refugees, though the total number in the country may be even higher.
The influx has placed strains on Lebanon, which has just four million citizens.
The Lebanese government has prevented the establishment of official refugee camps, giving rise to informal shanties known as "tented settlements" in rural areas.
In recent months, the government has all but closed its door to new refugees saying the country can no longer bear the strain produced by the influx.
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Tuesday, June 2nd 2015
AFP
           


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