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Saudis ordered to leave Lebanon after Syria kidnapping

Saudia Arabia told its citizens to leave Lebanon after a number of kidnappings threats, resulting from the escalating conflict in Syria.

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Members of the Free Syrian Army at a safehouse on northern Lebanon's border with Syria. (Skyeboat Films/Courtesy)

Saudia Arabia told its citizens to leave Lebanon "immediately" on Wednesday, following a number of kidnappings threats.

The BBC reported the Saudi embassy in Beirut said they had "reported threats to kidnap Saudi citizens," citing the state-run Spa news agency.

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The announcement follows the kidnapping of 20 Syrians in Lebanon who belonged to the rebel Free Syrian Army, the New York Times reported.

The powerful Mekdad clan said it abducted a number of Syrians connected to the Syrian rebels, the BBC reported. A Turkish national is reported to be among them.

The captors were shown on Lebanese television threatening to capture more people inside Lebanon until their family member was set free.

The move is believed to be in retaliation for the earlier kidnapping of a their Lebanese relative by rebels in Damascus on Monday, according to the Times.

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News of the developing conflict involving Syria and its neighbor Lebanon comes during an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/lebanon/120815/saudis-ordered-leave-lebanon-after-syria-kidnapping