In a tragic incident, a Lebanese mediator was killed on Saturday in a second day of fighting between the powerful Hezbollah group and fighters near the border with Syria.
Ahmad al-Fliti, who was mediating between fighters and Hezbollah was wounded when his car was hit by shelling of unknown origin in Juruod Arsal.
According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, an estimated 45,000 Syrian refugees live in informal camps in Juroud Arsal after having fled the six-year war in their home country.
But security in the area has also long been a concern, with Lebanese forces battling rebels in the area in 2014.
Lebanon’s army said Fliti, who was the former deputy mayor of Arsal, was killed in shelling by “the terrorist organization of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham”, formerly known as the Nusra Front.
Hezbollah on Friday also announced fighting on the other side of the border in Syria’s Qalamoun, where the Lebanese Shia group has fought for years alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s army against rebels.
More than a million refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the Syria conflict erupted with anti-government protests in March 2011.
Their presence has been largely tolerated despite testing the limited resources and ageing infrastructure of a country of just four million.
Syria’s air force on Saturday carried out air strikes near the border, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.