The United States is reviewing the threat to Americans in Lebanon posed by Hizbullah.
U.S. officials said the State Department has received warnings that U.S.
nationals in Lebanon could be abducted or killed in Shi'ite neighborhoods of
Beirut. The warning also extended to Shi'ite communities in southern
The warning came amid bloody Shi'ite riots in Beirut in May in which at
least five people were killed in clashes with Lebanese authorities.
Hizbullah has blamed the U.S. embassy in Beirut for masterminding the
violence, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Due to a series of incidents over the past month, the U.S. Embassy has
placed coastal areas south of Beirut off-limits to its staff until further
notice," the U.S. embassy in Beirut said. "The embassy recommends that
private U.S. citizens avoid the same areas if at all possible."
Officials said U.S. diplomats have also been banned from entering
Hizbullah strongholds either in Beirut or in southern Lebanon. The embassy
has been monitoring Hizbullah's presence along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
On May 20, the State Department renewed a warning against traveling to
Lebanon. Officials said the warning came in wake of Al Qaida-inspired
plots to attack the U.S. embassy and American restaurant chains around
On Sunday, however, a U.S. delegation of researchers traveled to
southern Lebanon to meet Hizbullah commander Nabil Quark. Quark was said to
have briefed the delegation on Hizbullah's regime in the south and its war