Lebanon Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Jul 13, 2006

This Travel Warning is being updated to alert American citizens that, due to ongoing security concerns in Lebanon, the U.S. Embassy has been granted authorized departure status. Family members and non-emergency American employees have permission to depart Lebanon. The Department of State urges American citizens to defer travel to Lebanon. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on May 2, 2006.

The Department of State is concerned for the personal safety of American citizens due to the current security situation in Lebanon. In light of the events of July 12 in Southern Lebanon and the resulting escalation in tensions in Lebanon, including the closure of Beirut International Airport and the Port of Beirut, American citizens are urged to avoid non-essential travel in Lebanon. There remains the possibility of anti-U.S. demonstrations and American citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens should avoid any areas where demonstrations are possible and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens in Lebanon are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut where they may also obtain updated information on travel and security in Lebanon. See registration details below.

Events in Lebanon underscore the need for caution and sound personal security precautions. Since March 2005, there have been 13 separate bombings in Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of at least 11 people and injuries to more than 100 others.

American citizens should keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel. Americans should also pay close attention to their personal security at locations where Westerners are generally known to congregate, and should avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

U.S. citizens who are in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should exercise heightened caution when traveling in parts of the southern suburbs of Beirut, portions of the Bekaa Valley and South Lebanon, and the cities of Sidon and Tripoli. Hizballah has not been disarmed, it maintains a strong presence in many of these areas, and there is the potential for action by other extremist groups in Tripoli.

Palestinian groups hostile to both the Lebanese government and the U.S. operate largely autonomously inside refugee camps in different areas of the country. Intra-communal violence within the camps has resulted in violent incidents such as shootings and explosions. Occasionally this violence spills over into neighboring cities and towns.

Dangers posed by landmines and unexploded ordnance throughout south Lebanon are significant and also exist in other areas where civil war fighting was intense. Travelers should be aware of posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.

The Embassy is located in Awkar, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon. Public access hours for American citizens are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. However, American citizens who require emergency services outside of these hours may contact the Embassy by telephone at any time. The telephone numbers are (961-4) 542-600, 543-600, and fax 544-209. American citizens may register with the Embassy online by visiting https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs. Information on consular services and registration can also be found at http://lebanon.usembassy.gov or by phone at the above telephone numbers between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday local time.

Updated information on travel and security in Lebanon may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. Additional details can be found in the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Lebanon, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcement and the Travel Publication A Safe Trip Abroad, all of which are available on the Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov.

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