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Governments Intensify Efforts to Evacuate Citizens Trapped in Lebanon

Thousands of foreign nationals are fleeing Lebanon, as governments around the world intensify efforts to pull their citizens out of the battered country.

The U.S. military announced it is sending five Navy ships, with 2,000 Marines, to waters off Lebanon to assist in the evacuation of Americans. The United States also has chartered a cruise ship to carry hundreds of Americans out of Lebanon.

And the U.S. and Britain are airlifting by helicopter scores of people with special needs. A British destroyer, the H.M.S. Gloucester, has docked in the port of Beirut to help evacuate thousands of Britons.

A ship chartered by France carrying hundreds of French nationals arrived in Cyprus Tuesday.

Many people from Arab countries have crossed by land into Syria on the way to their respective countries.

The United Nations, meanwhile, says it is evacuating non-essential staff from Lebanon.

Israel has imposed an air and sea blockade of Lebanon as part of spreading warfare with Hezbollah. Israeli air strikes have hit Beirut's international airport.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.