BEIRUT: The United States Embassy in Beirut reiterated its travel warning to all of Lebanon Monday night after intense fighting shook the country over the weekend.
“Demonstrations, and family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes often escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire and other violence with little or no warning,” the warning said.
It came two days after gunbattles in the southern city of Sidon between loyalists of Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir and the Army left dozens dead and many more wounded.
For years the U.S. State Department has encouraged citizens to avoid work and travel in Lebanon because of safety concerns.
The message sent over email cautioned that if regional and national situation worsen the embassy will likely not offer safe passage out of the country.
"U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks," the message said.
“U.S. citizens traveling or resident in Lebanon despite the Travel Warning should be aware that the U.S. Embassy's ability to reach all areas of Lebanon is limited,” the warning said.