Death of children fleeing Syria is a ‘human tragedy’, says MENA UNICEF director

A Syrian refugee removes snow from tents at a makeshift settlement in Bar Elias, in the Bekaa valley. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 January 2018
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Death of children fleeing Syria is a ‘human tragedy’, says MENA UNICEF director

BEIRUT: The death of children fleeing Syria due to extreme cold weather at the Syrian-Lebanese border is a “humanitarian tragedy for the world to stop,” Khairat Kabalari, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa has said.
“It is tragic that more than a dozen Syrians, including two children, have died in eastern Lebanon near the border crossing with Syria — the Syrians are risking their lives and the lives of their children in an attempt to escape,” Kabalari added.
He praised the efforts of the Lebanese authorities in searching for those who are still trapped in the mountains in freezing temperatures.
He said his organization is working in cooperation with a group of partners to help families cope with the harsh weather by distributing blankets and winter clothes and fueling schools.
The number of Syrians who have died trying to flee their war-torn country into neighboring Lebanon during a snowstorm had risen to at least 13, the United Nations said on Saturday.
A group of Syrians, including children, had tried to enter neighboring Lebanon late on Thursday through a smuggling route but were caught in a fierce storm.
The Lebanese army and civil defense said on Friday they had retrieved the bodies of 10 Syrians, including two children and six women.


Tunisian police and protesters clash after death at police station

Policemen stand guard in Tunis. (AFP)
Updated 44 min 37 sec ago
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Tunisian police and protesters clash after death at police station

  • Tunisian activists say abuses by security forces have continued, albeit at a lower rate, since the 2011 revolution that overthrew the regime of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali

TUNIS: Police in Tunisia fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse demonstrators who protested after a young man died inside a police station near the coastal resort of Hammamet, witnesses said.
The young man was arrested on Friday after a fight between groups of youths in the town of Barraket Essahel, 60 km (37 miles) southeast of the capital Tunis, according to locals. While it was not immediately clear how he died, demonstrators blamed the security forces.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the young man had fainted after reaching the police station and died despite officers’ efforts to revive him. It said a judge had ordered an investigation.
Police in Barraket Essahel were not immediately available to comment.
Tunisian activists say abuses by security forces have continued, albeit at a lower rate, since the 2011 revolution that overthrew the regime of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.