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Saudi Arabia and UAE urge citizens out of Lebanon after kidnappings

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Khalil Hassan/Reuters

(Read caption) Shi'ite masked gunmen from the Meqdad clan, gather at the Meqdad family's association headquarters in the southern suburbs in Beirut, on August 15.

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Both the regional power games over Syria's civil war and the repercussions for the people of that country and the region are heating up.

Today, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar ordered their citizens out of Lebanon after 30 Syrians were kidnapped in the country in retaliation for a Lebanese Shiite's kidnapping by rebel fighters in Syria.

Saudi, Qatar and the UAE are Sunni monarchies and support the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, whose regime draws much of its support from the minority Alawite sect he belongs to. Hezbollah, the powerful Shiite political party and militia in Lebanon, supports Mr. Assad, as does its patron Iran. The Saudi Embassy in Beirut particularly noted the threat of kidnapping by Shiite groups in the country. 

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