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Aid groups urge Lebanon army to halt punitive refugee raids

BEIRUT — Dozens of international aid groups are calling on Lebanese armed forces to put an end to a campaign of dismantling homes of Syrian refugees, calling it “punitive” and “traumatic.”

The statement by 51 groups Friday comes following reports that Lebanese armed forces personnel raided a community of 350 Syrian refugee homes in settlements in the northern town of Akkar around dawn a day earlier.

The groups said military personnel used sledgehammers to partially demolished homes on grounds that they violated a recent military order.

Earlier this year, the military gave refugees until July 1 to remove any concrete walls taller than waist high— a measure designed to keep their homes temporary.

Lebanon is home to over 1 million Syrian refugees, a strain on the small country’s resources.

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