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Governments Intensify Efforts to Evacuate Citizens Trapped in Lebanon


Thousands of foreign nationals fled from Lebanon on Monday, as governments across the world intensified efforts to pull their citizens out of the battered country.

Many foreigners crossed by land into Syria, while others were taken by ship or helicopter to Cyprus.

Britain, France, Russia and Italy are among the countries that took steps to evacuate their citizens from Lebanon today.

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack says less than 100 of the estimated 25-thousand U.S. citizens in Lebanon have been evacuated to Cyprus. But he said plans are underway to get Americans out of danger through U.S. military planes, and commercial and military vessels.

A Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman says a cruise ship will be available Tuesday to transport U.S. citizens to Cyprus.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is considering evacuating the dependents of U.N. staff members in Lebanon.

Israel has imposed an air and sea blockade of Lebanon as part of spreading warfare with Hezbollah. Beirut's international airport has been hit by Israeli air strikes.

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