BEIRUT — The Lebanese army announced Thursday that over the past week, it arrested some 1,000 Syrian nationals who "attempted to infiltrate" Lebanon at several points along the porous Lebanese-Syrian border.
In statements relayed on X (previously Twitter), the Army said one of its patrols foiled an attempt on Wednesday to "smuggle goods" from Lebanon into Syria via the northern border, without specifying what the products were.
"The patrol was targeted by shots fired by the smugglers and returned fire, wounding one of the smugglers. He was transferred to hospital where he lost his life," the Army said. The seized goods were handed over to the relevant authorities and an investigation was launched.
Lebanon has the highest ratio of refugees per capita in the world according to UNHCR and hosts nearly two million Syrians, according to estimates by Lebanese officials. Nearly 830,000 of Lebanon's Syrian refugees are registered with the UN. While several Lebanese political and religious leaders regularly call for the repatriation of Syrian migrants, many humanitarian organizations have stated that returning to Syria is not safe.