First group of Syrian refugees leaves for Germany

September 11, 2013

BEIRUT (AP) — A first group of Syrian refugees have departed Beirut International Airport for Germany where they will live in temporary new homes as Germany’s biggest relocation program gets under way.

Airport officials say the group of 107 refugees left on Wednesday for Hannover, Germany. They are the first group to be relocated under a German program for up to 5,000 Syrian refugees. U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said Tuesday that they include women at risk, people with serious medical conditions or others with special needs.

Unlike the makeshift arrangements for most of the 2 million refugees that have fled Syria’s civil war into neighboring countries, the program announced by Germany in March gives them the right to work under two-year residence permits that could be extended if Syria’s crisis continues.

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