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Saudi Arabia urges citizens to leave tense Lebanon

Hezbollah has blamed Sunni-ruled kingdom for double suicide attacks this week which hit Iranian embassy and left 23 dead

Damaged cars seen in front of a building where many Iranian diplomats live, at the scene of two explosions that struck the day before, near the Iranian embassy, in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013  (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)
Damaged cars seen in front of a building where many Iranian diplomats live, at the scene of two explosions that struck the day before, near the Iranian embassy, in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

Saudi Arabia is urging its citizens to leave Lebanon and exercise caution following this week’s deadly bombing at the Iranian Embassy and deepening tensions with Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Shiite-led Hezbollah has indirectly blamed Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia for Tuesday’s twin suicide blasts, which killed 23 people. A Sunni radical group linked to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility.

Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah are longstanding foes, but are now rivals in Syria’s civil war. Saudi rulers are key backers of Syrian rebels, while Hezbollah is fighting alongside the forces of Bashar Assad.

A statement Thursday from the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon urged its citizens to “return to the kingdom and be cautious.”

Lebanon has been a popular holiday spot for Saudis, but numbers have dropped off sharply since Hezbollah joined the battles in Syria.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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