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Updated: Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:40:19 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Syrian refugees in Lebanon surpass 1 million mark



A Syrian refugee child who fled the violence from the Syrian town of Flita, near Yabroud, poses for a photograph at the border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley March 20, 2014. Tensions have been especially high in and around Arsal after Syrian forces and the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah recaptured the Syrian border town of Yabroud from rebels on Sunday, sending a stream of refugees and fighters across the border. Lebanon's border area has been steadily sucked into Syria's three-year-old conflict as President Bashar al-Assad's forces attack nearby rebel bases and suspected Syrian rebels fire rockets at Shi'ite towns to punish Hezbollah for sending fighters to support Assad. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah (© LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

A Syrian refugee child who fled the violence from the Syrian town of Flita, near Yabroud, poses for a photograph at the border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley March 20, 2014. Tensions have been especially high in and around Arsal after Syrian forces and the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah recaptured the Syrian border town of Yabroud from rebels on Sunday, sending a stream of refugees and fighters across the border. Lebanon's border area has been steadily sucked into Syria's three-year-old conflict as President Bashar al-Assad's forces attack nearby rebel bases and suspected Syrian rebels fire rockets at Shi'ite towns to punish Hezbollah for sending fighters to support Assad. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3HY4X Hassan Abdallah/Reuters

The United Nations refugee agency says the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has exceeded one million, calling it a "devastating milestone" for the tiny Arab country with depleted resources and an explosive sectarian mix of its own.

Three years after Syria's conflict started, Lebanon has become the country with the highest per-capita concentration of refugees worldwide, struggling to cope with a massive crisis that has become an unprecedented challenge for aid agencies.

Also, Syria's sectarian war has frequently spilled over into Lebanon, with deadly clashes between factions supporting opposing sides in the fighting next door.

The UNHCR said Thursday the one million Syrians are a huge burden for Lebanon, which has 4.5 million people.

The agency registers 2,500 new refugees daily in Lebanon — more than one person per minute.

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