Gulf nationals urged to leave the country after 23 people were seized in retaliation for earlier abduction in Syria.
Several Gulf Arab states have told their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, after armed men kidnapped more than 20 people in retaliation for the capture of one of their kinsmen in Syria.
The Meqdad clan, one of Lebanon’s powerful Shia Muslim families, said its military wing kidnapped at least 23 people on Wednesday in a bid to secure the release of Hassan al-Meqdad.
The hostages included a Turkish businessman, a Saudi and several Syrians the family described as rebel fighters.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar told their citizens to leave Lebanon after the kidnappings and threats to seize more citizens of countries that have backed the uprising against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
The three countries are all led by Sunnis and strongly support the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels fighting Assad.
Abu Ali al-Meqdad, a Meqdad clan member, said on Wednesday the hostages “were kidnapped because a member of our family was taken the day before yesterday in Syria”.