U.S. Embassy in Beirut warns citizens against being targeted, March 6, 2008

BEIRUT (Xinhua) -- American embassy in Beirut sent a warning to its citizens in Lebanon to take "responsible security measures," stay away from public places, and avoid any appearance that show they are Americans, local Elnashra website reported Thursday.

The U.S. embassy, explained in a statement that the "unstable situation and explosions in recent months" have urged its staff to take maximum precautious measures, said the report.

The warning pointed to the media coverage of American warship presence in the east of the Mediterranean "aimed at preserving stability in the region," as another reason that could trigger "fundamentalist groups" to target American citizens and interests.

The embassy also asked its citizens to report any suspicious attitudes.

Local press reported earlier that Saudi Arabian embassy in Lebanon had asked its citizens to leave the country "as soon as possible."

Lebanese presidential seat has been vacant since former president Emile Lahoud ended his term on Nov. 24, and the sharply divided Lebanese parliament has delayed the elections for 15 times without a consensus.

The presidency deadlock deepened the Lebanese political crisis as fears are mounting that failure in reaching a deal on the presidential candidate could result more violence in the country.

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