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Evacuation of Lebanon Swedes begins

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10:33 CEST+02:00
As Israel steps up its military campaign against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, officials began evacuating thousands of Swedes from the country on Sunday morning.

Ten buses, each with 50 seats, have been requisitioned and will shuttle back and forth between Beirut in Lebanon and Aleppo in Syria.

The Swedish consulate in Beirut and the embassy in Damascus are also trying to procure more buses.

The journey is expected to take nine hours, depending on the quality of the roads. First to be evacuated will be people with special requirements, such as families with small children and pregnant women.

The evacuees are likely to stay overnight in Syria before being flown home to Sweden.

Additionally, boat transportation to Cyprus from Lebanon is expected to get underway on Monday at the earliest.

"This is all about safety. Sweden must get guarantees from the parties in the conflict that it will be safe to use this road," said Kent Öberg at the press office in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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