Beirut bus crash: Nine Syrian refugees killed, 29 injured

Officials say the bus was headed to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, when the accident occurred in the Kahhaleh region. (Courtesy: Syrian television)

At least nine Syrians, believed to be refugees, were killed and 29 were injured in a bus crash in central Lebanon while travelling from Syria.

Officials say the bus was headed to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, when the accident occurred in the Kahhaleh region.

The death toll is likely to rise as many of the wounded are in critical conditions.

George Kettaneh, operations director for the Lebanese Red Cross, said nine people died in the accident, including women and children. It was unclear, however, why the bus overturned, he said.

His statement added that around 35 rescuers and 9 ambulances took part in the rescue mission.

Also, it was not immediately known whether the Syrians where refugees fleeing the violence in their country. The bus had Syrian license plates from the northeastern Hasakah province, which recently witnessed heavy clashes.

There are also more than 360,000 Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon with many more not registered. The Security Council called on countries which made pledges toward a $1.5 billion U.N. appeal for Syria in January to “follow through” on the promised cash.

The U.N. humanitarian department says that only a small proportion of the money has been handed over.

There have been repeated deadly clashes along the Syria-Lebanon border in the two years of the conflict between Assad and opposition rebels. The United Nations has expressed mounting fears that fighting will spill over the border.

Lebanon has officially insisted it is neutral in the Syria conflict, but there are deep divisions in Lebanon with Sunni forces supporting the revolt and the Shiite Hezbollah and its allies backing Assad.
 

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Last Update: Friday, 15 March 2013 KSA 15:09 - GMT 12:09
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