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Palestinian UN bid: US alerts citizens in Lebanon

Sept. 23, 2011 3:29 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 23, 2011 3:29 P.M.)
BEIRUT (AFP) -- The US embassy in Lebanon warned its citizens on Friday to avoid Palestinian refugee camps and large gatherings in light of the expected showdown at the United Nations over Palestinian statehood.

"The US embassy in Lebanon is alerting US citizens to a possibility of a surge in demonstrations in Beirut and around Lebanon in the coming days," the embassy said in an emergency message sent to its nationals.

It said such gatherings should be avoided, as should the 12 refugee camps across the country housing an estimated 300,000 Palestinians.

Demonstrations have been held in Beirut this week in favor of President Mahmoud Abbas' expected historic bid later Friday for full membership of the United Nations.

Israel and the United States are fiercely opposed to the plan.

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