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Lebanon Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 22, 2006

This Travel Warning is being issued to alert American citizens to the ongoing demonstrations and political tensions in Lebanon. The Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Lebanon and also urges American citizens in Lebanon to consider carefully the risks of remaining. This Travel Warning also alerts U.S. citizens to the ongoing safety and security concerns in Lebanon. It supersedes the Travel Warning issued on September 28, 2006.

The Department remains concerned about the personal safety and security of American citizens in Lebanon. American citizens traveling to or residing in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should exercise heightened caution. Since the August 14 cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon, political tensions in Lebanon have increased and have become a cause for concern in recent weeks. Hizballah maintains a strong presence in many areas of Lebanon, and there is the potential for anti-American actions by other extremist groups in Tripoli, Sidon, and the Palestinian refugee camps. Americans are urged to avoid large public gatherings, including the Martyrs Square and Riad El Solh areas in Beirut when demonstrations occur. Conditions in Lebanon can change quickly and dramatically, including with regard to access to Beirut International Airport and the ports. Sporadic violence has occurred and there remains the possibility of further violence. All 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 conditions in Lebanon. Registration details are discussed below.

U.S. citizens in Lebanon should at all times be aware of a possible deterioration of the security situation. Americans should pay close attention to their personal security and consider fully the necessity of remaining in Lebanon at this time. Accordingly, Americans and their family members should ensure that their passports and U.S. travel documents are up-to-date. The lack of valid travel documents will delay the ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide assistance.

The U.S. Government considers the potential threat to U.S. Government personnel assigned to Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, the movement of U.S. Embassy officials in certain areas of the country. Unofficial travel to Lebanon by U.S. Government employees and their family members requires prior approval by the Department of State.

Dangers posed by landmines and unexploded ordnance throughout southern Lebanon are significant and also exist in other areas where civil war fighting was intense. There is a danger of unexploded cluster bombs and other ordnance in areas south of the Litani River that were scenes of fighting in the July-August 2006 conflict. Over 100 civilians have been injured, and more than a dozen killed, by unexploded ordnance, since the cessation of hostilities. 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://beirut.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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