Saudi Arabia orders its citizens to leave Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, citing fear of kidnappings by Shiites angry over rebels in Syria taking prisoners from Lebanon and Iran.

The statement by the Saudi Embassy in Beirut was published on the official Saudi news agency today. It urges its citizens to leave immediately and warns travelers against visiting Lebanon, a popular destination for Gulf residents in the summer.

Armed Shiite clansmen in Lebanon say they have taken 20 Syrians hostages until their relative seized by rebels in Syria is freed. Syria rebels claim to be holding a Lebanese man they accuse of being a member of Hezbollah, the Shiite Lebanese group allied with Syria and Iran.

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