|Date: 16/08/2012 Time: 11:26:00 PM
The United States has issued a travel warning
for U.S. citizens to Lebanon due to safety concerns amid reports of
kidnappings near Beirut.
"We are deeply concerned about spillover from the Syrian crisis that could
impact on the stability, on the sovereignty of Lebanon. And we firmly condemn
kidnapping as a tactic, obviously," State department spokeswoman Victoria
Nuland said at a press briefing. "We call on all sides to exercise restraint."
Lebanese Shi'ite gunmen kidnapped more than 20 people on Wednesday in
retaliation for the capture of one of their kinsmen in Syria, prompting Sunni
Gulf states to warn their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.
A Turk, a Saudi and several Syrians were among those abducted in an area in
southern Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah Shi'ite militants, raising the risk
that the sectarian violence driving the conflict in Syria will spread to its
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar told their citizens to
leave Lebanon after the kidnappings and threats to seize more citizens of
countries that have backed the uprising against Syria's President Bashar