BEIRUT: The United Arab Emirates Sunday warned nationals not to stay in or travel to Lebanon in light of the dangerous security situation, according to Elnashra website, just one month after loosening their previous advisory. The Gulf state called on its nationals in Lebanon to “immediately leave [the country] by contacting and collaborating with the embassy in Beirut.”
Hamad Mohammad al-Juneibi, charge d’affaires at the UAE Embassy in Beirut, said the warning “comes out of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s concern over the safety of its nationals abroad.”
He called on all citizens to “completely adhere to this warning until any further notice [is issued].”
The warning came after a terrorist suicide bombing targeted an Internal Security Forces checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway at Dahr al-Baidar in east Lebanon Friday.
The bombing, which killed a police officer and wounded 33 others, coincided with a raid on two hotels in Beirut’s Hamra district, after security agencies received information that an Islamist group was preparing to assassinate Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
The United States Embassy Friday reiterated an advisory warning that recommended its citizens avoid all travel to Lebanon.
The message read, “The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens in Lebanon to exercise heightened security awareness of their surroundings at all times, and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security.” It also urged U.S. citizens to be conscious of personal safety at all times.
The French General Consulate also sent its citizens a message Friday asking them to avoid all nonessential travel in light of the day’s unrest.
After a spate of bombings hit Lebanon between late last summer and the early months of this year, security forces implemented a series of security plans that saw the attacks subside. Friday’s suicide bombing was the first since March.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 23, 2014, on page 3.