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US Marines in Beirut to Help Americans Fleeing Lebanon


U.S. Marines have landed on a beach near Beirut to help evacuate thousands of Americans caught up in the week-long Israeli bombardment of Lebanon.

Forty Marines came ashore early Thursday and helped carry hundreds of Americans to the naval vessel U.S.S. Nashville. The massive evacuation is expected to last several days. About one thousand Americans arrived in Cyprus today aboard a U.S.-chartered cruise ship.

And the first group of Americans evacuated from Lebanon returned to the United States today, arriving at an airport near Baltimore, Maryland. Ships chartered by European nations and other governments also are ferrying foreigners out of Lebanon.

India says the first group of its citizens are on an Indian naval vessel and headed to Cyprus. Bangladesh and the Philippines are appealing for help to get their nationals out.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said her government is doing everything possible to move 30,000 Philippine workers in Lebanon out of harms way.

She appealed to the combatants to spare Filipinos caught in the conflict. Thousands of Lebanese and citizens of other Arab nations have traveled into Syria by road to escape the fighting.

U.S. officials say eight thousand of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon have asked for help to leave.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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