Syrian refugees flee blaze in Lebanon

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More than 300 Syrian refugees have been forced to flee an informal camp in northern Lebanon as a blaze raged through and burned tents to the ground.

UN and Lebanese officials said on Sunday that the fire, which broke out late on Saturday, raged for four hours as firefighters tried to put it out.

The fire ensued following a fight between a Lebanese family and Syrians living in the camp in the al-Miniyeh district in the country's north, according to Lebanese media reports.

The Lebanese army said it had conducted raids and arrested two Lebanese men and six Syrians as part of the investigation.

The statement said the Lebanese men had fired weapons into the air and torched the tents.

The army also confiscated weapons during the raids and said it expected to make further arrests.

Khaled Kabbara, a UN refugee agency spokesman in northern Lebanon, said some 375 people lived in the informal settlement that was located on a plot of rented land.

He said the entire camp was burnt to the ground.

Kabbara said four people were hospitalised with minor injuries from the fire.

Most of the refugees have sought shelter in other nearby informal settlements, and some members of the local community have also offered shelter, Kabbara said.