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Friday, August 24, 2012

Another 120 killed in Syria - and Lebanon death toll up to 13

From Al Arabiya:
More than 100 people, including at least 20 children have been killed by Syrian regime forces on Friday in heavy shelling of opposition held areas in the Damascus suburbs several districts of Aleppo and Deir Ezzour, the activist Local Coordination Committees (LCC) reported.

The group reported that at least 40 were killed in what it said was a “massacre” in Deir Ezzour. The town’s local LCC branch said the massacre was cause army helicopter shelling.

Activists reported heavy shelling by Syrian forces on several districts of Aleppo, scene of the fiercest fighting since the conflict first entangled the commercial and manufacturing hub a month ago.
The spillover to Lebanon is continuing:
A young Sunni sheikh was killed on Friday in Syria-related clashes between two rival neighborhoods in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, denting a tenuous truce that was agreed earlier by local leaders.

The clashes breached a truce earlier agreed by local political leaders hours earlier in a bid to halt fighting fuelled by tensions in neighboring Syria.

The sectarian clashes began after gunmen in a nearby Sunni area shot dead an Alawite man. Nine others were wounded in the subsequent fighting.

At least 13 people have died and more than a hundred have been wounded in fighting this week between Lebanese Sunni Muslims and Alawites, reflecting the sectarian faultlines that have emerged in Syria's conflict.
Refugees from Syria are still pouring over the borders:
More than 200,000 Syrians have poured into neighboring countries during the conflict, surpassing the 185,000 the U.N. refugee agency had expected to flee by the end of the year.

The total reflects an increase of some 30,000 in the past week alone to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, but also takes into account a change in the way the agency counts those in Jordan, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

"There has been a dramatic increase in the number of (Syrian) refugees in the region during August, we're now at over 200,000 refugees in the region, that's over and above our planning figure for all 2012 of 185,000 refugees," spokesman Adrian Edwards told Reuters Television in Geneva on Friday.

More than 3,500 people fleeing violence in Syria have entered Turkey over the past 24 hours, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate said on Friday, one of the highest daily refugee flows since the start of the uprising last year.

"In Jordan, a record 2,200 people crossed the border overnight and were received at Za'atri camp in the north," Edwards told a news briefing.

Iraq is home to nearly 16,000 Syrian refugees, UNHCR said.