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Federal Government Readvises Australians To Not Travel To Lebanon

The federal government has told Australians in Lebanon to leave as soon as possible after the death of two Australian citizens were confirmed.

SmartTraveller has had warnings in place for Lebanon since mid-October advising Australians to not travel to the area due to “a possibility of an increase in armed conflict”.

Ali and Ibrahim Bazzi died in an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon’s Bint Jbeil, becoming the first two Australians confirmed by Israeli air strikes in the current conflict.

Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah said Ali was one of its fighters, which is still being investigated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT).

Attorney-general Mark Dreyfus, who is acting as foreign minister while Penny Wong is on leave, said Ali’s links were being investigated after the group declared him as a martyr and gave him a military style funeral.

“We will continue to make inquiries about this particular person with whom Hezbollah has claimed links,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Any Australian fighting with Hezbollah is committing a very serious terrorist offence under the criminal code.”

Mr Dreyfus said the government’s latest warning to avoid the country is not in repones to the Bazzi’s deaths, but a reiteration of DFAT’s advice.

Australians can see the latest travel advice on the SmartTraveller website.

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