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UK renews Lebanon travel advisory in wake of twin bombings

Civil defense workers attend to the site of an explosion in the Beirut neighborhood of Bir Hasan, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The United Kingdom Thursday renewed its travel advisory for Lebanon in the wake of Wednesday's twin suicide bombings targeting the Iranian Cultural Center near Beirut that killed 10 people.

In a statement posted on its website, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it advised against all travels to violence-prone areas in the country, including the northern city of Tripoli, Palestinian refugee camps, the Syrian Border, the Hermel Area including Arsal and Baalbek, and the Bekaa Valley east of the Baalbek- Hermel Highway to the Syrian border and down to Nabi Sheet.

It also warned against travel to Beirut’s southern suburbs, which are strongly associated with Hezbollah and which have also been targeted by string of car bombings claimed by Al-Qaeda-linked groups seeking to retaliate against the party for fighting in Syria.

The office also advised against all but essential travel to the Bekaa Valley, the coastal city of Sidon and anywhere south of the Litani River.

Security has rapidly deteriorated over the past year as the war in Syria threatens to spill over into Lebanon.

The office warned further violence could restrict departure options, and that the ability of the British government to provide assistance in such cases may be limited.

“Keep up to date with developments, be vigilant, follow local advice and avoid any protests or demonstrations. Roads can become blocked due to protests,” the advisory said.

While warning against sporadic clashes in Tripoli, the office said there was a high risk of attacks by “Islamist extremist groups, which could be indiscriminate and affect places visited by foreigners like hotels, restaurants, tourist sites western-style shopping centers and supermarket chains.”

 

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Summary

The United Kingdom Thursday renewed its travel advisory for Lebanon in the wake of Wednesday's twin suicide bombings targeting the Iranian Cultural Center near Beirut that killed 10 people.

In a statement posted on its website, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it advised against all travels to violence-prone areas in the country, including the northern city of Tripoli, Palestinian refugee camps, the Syrian Border, the Hermel Area including Arsal and Baalbek, and the Bekaa Valley east of the Baalbek-Hermel Highway to the Syrian border and down to Nabi Sheet.


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