Bulgarians in Lebanon Urged to Be Ready to Leave

Diplomacy | August 16, 2012, Thursday // 13:03|  views

The Foreign Affairs Ministry building in downtown Sofia. File photo

The Foreign Affairs Ministry is urging all Bulgarian citizens in Lebanon to be vigilant, stay in touch with the Bulgarian Embassy and be prepared to leave the country.

The Ministry stresses that the situation in Lebanon has worsened sharply since Wednesday with escalating tensions and violence related to the Syrian conflict.

The Ministry is further appealing to all Bulgarians to postpone trips to Lebanon while stressing that the Embassy in Beirut is open for advice and assistance within its possibilities and authority.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait urged their citizens to leave Lebanon amid a number of indications that the conflict in Syria is spreading to the western neighbor.

The move came after a string of kidnappings of Sunni Muslims by a powerful Shia clan in retaliation for the abduction of clan member by rebels in Damascus.

BBC reports that Lebanese citizens have been further caught up in the Syrian crisis on Wednesday when warplanes struck the town of Azaz north of Aleppo, reportedly killing 30 people.

Among those reported wounded in the attack close to Syria's border with Turkey were seven Lebanese hostages held by the rebels since May. Four more hostages were said to be missing after the building they were in was hit.

After unconfirmed TV reports that the four had died, rioters were said to have burned tires on the main road to Beirut airport and an Air France flight switched routes to Jordan "for security reasons".

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Tags: Foreign Affairs Ministry, Lebanon, Beirut, Syria, conflict, embassy, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Bulgarians, Sunni Muslims


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