2 dead in Lebanon Syrian refugee camp fire

A fire ripped through a refugee camp in Lebanon early Monday (December 3rd) morning, killing two Syrians, including a boy, and burning nearly two dozen tents, AFP reported.

Around 1.5 million Syrians have sought shelter in Lebanon from the seven-year war raging across the border, with many living in camps in the Bekaa Valley in the east of the country.

The fire in the northeastern town of Yammouneh early Monday "killed a 46-year-old man as well as a boy aged 7 or 8", deputy mayor Hussein Shreif said.

It "burnt down 23 of 70 tents in the camp", he said.

It was not immediately clear what started the fire, he said, but after the initial spark, "the explosion of a fuel container in one of the tents caused the fire to spread".

Security forces and a UN team were dispatched to the affected area, he said.

"At 3 a.m., we heard screaming. Then we saw flames, and we could not put them out," one of the refugees told AFP.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported that "civil defence put out the fire with difficulty due to the low visibility, thick fog and smoke".

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