Normally a holiday destination for sun seekers, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has become a safe haven for thousands of refugees from the stricken city of Beirut. Three ships docked in the port of Larnaca overnight. A US cruise liner carrying over a thousand was joined by a UN ship with an unconfirmed number aboard, and a French vessel carrying 320.
Germany has also sent at least 500 of its citizens to safety in Syria. A US official said his country had the capacity to evacuate up to six thousand Americans from Lebanon by tomorrow. The British naval destroyer HMS Gloucester arrived in Cyprus with 180 evacuees, who continued their journey home to the UK by aeroplane. Around 5000 Britons are still waiting to leave Lebanon.