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Persian Gulf States Urge Citizens To Leave Lebanon After Kidnapping Of Rebel Syrians



LEBANON - Persian Gulf states urged their citizens to leave Lebanon on Thursday after more than 30 members of the Syrian opposition movement were abducted by a Lebanese Muslim Shiite clan, in retaliation for the kidnapping of one of its members in Damascus.

Bloomberg News reports that officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait issued warnings to their nationals in Lebanon to leave the country immediately.

Lebanon is a popular vacation spot for tourists from the Persian Gulf, and the move could hurt the Lebanese economy.

The Gulf States acted after the powerful Lebanese Shiite Meqdad family captured over 30 Syrians in Lebanon on Wednesday, as reported by the New York Times. A family spokesman told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation that it was also holding a Turkish national and threatened to capture Saudis and Qataris, according to Bloomberg News.

Several Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have actively supported the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, which started in March last year and has killed 21,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Al Jazeera reports that the Meqdad clan acted to secure the release of one of its kinsmen held by Syrian rebels in Damascus. The rebels claimed the man was a sniper from Hezbollah sent to help President Assad, a staunch ally of the militant Shiite Islamic group. The Meqdad family refuted the accusations.

Also on Wednesday night, a Paris-Beirut Air France flight landed in Damascus for refueling as it was rerouted to Larnaca in Cyprus. Air France decided to reroute the flight because of security concerns about the Beirut airport, according to the AFP. The road to the airport was blocked by a protest by families of Lebanese held in Syria.

Another photo from Beirut airport road some minutes ago. #Lebanon (Al Nashra) twitter.com/Amani_Lebanon/…

— AmaniiLeb (@Amani_Lebanon) August 15, 2012

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Migrant Lives

A Train Journey With Bengal Migrants Looking For A Living Far Away

Finding a seat on the Karmabhoomi Express is close to impossible. A closer look at why so many migrant workers travel on it, and out of Bengal, offers a grim picture.

image of a train

The Karmabhoomi Express runs from Kamakhya to Mumbai in a 3 day journey.

India Rail Info
Joydeep Sarkar

WEST BENGAL — Welcome aboard the 22512 Kamakhya-LTT Karmabhoomi Express — a metaphor, if any, of the acuteness of Bengal’s unemployment problem.

It is 10.28 pm at north Bengal’s Alipurduar Junction and the crowd has swollen to its peak. This is when the Karmabhoomi Express appears at the station. It is bound for Mumbai. Finding a seat on it is close to impossible. It is always chock full and there are always hundreds struggling to get a spot in the unreserved general compartment.

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