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18:41, 18 April 2014 Friday
Update: 15:35, 06 September 2013 Friday

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US evacuating diplomatic staff in Beirut, Adana
US evacuating diplomatic staff in Beirut, Adana

The US started to evacuate its non-urgent diplomatic staff and their families in the consulate in Turkey's southern province of Adana and Lebanon

World Bulletin/News Desk

U.S. officials tightened security at diplomatic missions in Lebanon and Turkey on Friday, ordering personnel out of Lebanon and offering to evacuate those in Adana in southeastern Turkey, amid security threats against Americans.

The U.S. State Department also warned U.S. citizens against traveling in Lebanon and southeastern Turkey, and urged those is the rest of Turkey "to be alert to the potential for violence."

Officials did not offer any specifics about the possible threats.

"Given the current tensions the region, as well as potential threats to U.S. government facilities and personnel, we are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution to protect our employees and their families, and local employees and visitors to our facilities," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, adding that officials are continuing to "assess the situation."

In Lebanon, officials ordered non-emergency personnel and their family members out of the country "due to threats," the U.S. Embassy in Beirut said in statement.

The State Department urged "U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of current safety and security concerns."

In Turkey, officials offered voluntary evacuation to reduce its diplomatic presence at its consulate in Adana, Turkey, "because of threats against U.S. government facilities and personnel."

"The Consulate General in Adana has been authorized to draw down its non-emergency staff and family members it said.

It also recommended "that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to southeastern Turkey," the statement said.

U.S. citizens who remain in Lebanon or southeastern Turkey should remain vigilant and make their own emergency plans, officials said.



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