U.S. Department of State updates Lebanon travel warning

March 30th, 2010 - 4:11 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) – The United States Department of State urged U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to current safety and security concerns, the State Department Press Office announced on Monday.

This warning updates the Travel Warning issued last September 29 and adds information on security threats in Lebanon. The Department of State noted that although there is an apparent calm in the Western Asian nation, the potential of violence erupting suddenly is real. The Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens and tourists if such scenario occurs.

U.S. citizens have been the target of numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past. On January 15, 2008, a U.S. embassy vehicle was targeted in a bomb attack that killed three Lebanese bystanders. On May 7, 2008, Hizballah militants blocked the road to Rafiq Hariri International Airport in Beirut, impeding to enter or leave the country via commercial air carriers.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens that must stay in Beirut or other Lebanese cities, to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, keep a low profile, vary times and routes for all required trips, watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.

The U.S. Embassy in Lebanon has limited ability to reach all areas of the Asian country. U.S. citizens must arrange their own travel out and have all their document sin order to avoid further delays. They could also register, as urged by the U.S. government, with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut through the State Department’s travel registration website.

The crime rate in Lebanon is moderate, but both car theft and home break-ins occur. Violent crime and sexual assault are rare, although pick pocketing and purse snatching is common in crowded public areas.

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