US warns against travel to Lebanon

The new travel advisory follows a shootout that killed two Lebanese soldiers in February outside the village of Arsal. Three weeks later, two Lebanese nationals were killed and several were injured by shelling in northern Lebanon.

“The ongoing conflict in Syria has also resulted in numerous security incidents in the border regions between Lebanon and Syria and coincides with an increasing number of security incidents around the country,” the State Department said. “Over the past year there have been regular reports of shelling, originating from Syria, of Lebanese border areas and villages, some of which has resulted in deaths and injuries, as well as reports of armed groups originating from Syria who have kidnapped or attacked Lebanese citizens living in the border area.”

In addition, a number of Islamist militant groups — including the anti-American Hezbollah — operate in the country. The State Department suspended its Fulbright and English Language Fellow grants for U.S. scholars to live and work in Lebanon during the academic year last year.