US urges Americans to avoid travelling to Lebanon after Beirut bombings

A Lebanese soldier walking past damaged motorbikes at the site of the two explosions in Beirut on Nov 13.
A Lebanese soldier walking past damaged motorbikes at the site of the two explosions in Beirut on Nov 13. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States urged its citizens on Friday (Dec 11) to avoid traveling to Lebanon, after deadly bombings in Beirut claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"Sudden outbreaks of violence can occur at any time in Lebanon, and armed clashes have occurred in major cities," the State Department said, warning of risks in this politically fragile country bordering war-wracked Syria.

The Nov 12 attacks hit a busy shopping street in Burj al-Barajneh, a suburb where the Shiite movement Hezbollah is popular. A total of 44 people were killed.

It was the largest ISIS attack ever in Lebanon, and among the deadliest bombings to hit the volatile country in decades.

"The Department of State urges US citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of ongoing safety and security concerns," the State Department travel notice read.

"US citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks."