Four Syrian men arrested after deadly Lebanese army raids on refugee camps last week have died, the military command said on Tuesday, blaming pre-existing conditions.
Lebanese soldiers stormed two refugee camps on Friday near the border town of Arsal, but were met with a string of suicide attacks and grenades.
They carried out a wave of arrests in the wake of the explosions, which killed one girl and wounded seven soldiers.
“During the usual medical examinations conducted by the army’s medical unit, a number of them were found to be suffering from chronic health problems that were activated as a result of weather conditions,” the army said on Tuesday.
According to the army, the men were immediately transferred to hospitals, but their health conditions worsened and they died.
They were identified as Mustafa Abdelkarim Abseh, Khaled Hussein Al-Malis, Anas Hussein al-Hasiki, and Othman Morei al-Malis.
Lebanon is home to more than one million refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, many of whom live in informal tented settlements.
The army’s treatment of detainees after the Arsal incident has sparked fierce controversy in Lebanon, particularly after images emerged of security forces apparently detaining dozens of refugees.
The men are shirtless and pictured lying on the ground in rows, their hands tied behind their backs.
In response, a group calling itself “The Electronic Army of the Syrian Revolution” hacked Lebanese state television’s website on Tuesday, posting messages opposing the army.
“The crime of Arsal is unforgivable,” one message said.