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Missing American in Beirut Found

February 2, 2001

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ A U.S. citizen working as an administrator at the American University of Beirut who disappeared overnight has been found alive, the university said Friday.

Dean S. Kevlin, dean of students, was found ``alive and well,″ university information officer Ibrahim Khouri said, without elborating. He said the university was preparing a statement.

University officials and U.S. diplomats in Beirut became concerned when they received no contact from Kevlin for nearly 24 hours after he called an assistant Thursday evening.

Lebanese police launched an investigation into the disappearance of the 51-year-old administrator from Brooklyn, N.Y. The disappearance brought back memories of kidnappings of Americans and other Westerners in the 1980s during Lebanon’s civil war.

The university had said Kevlin telephoned his assistant at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to say he was returning to his campus office after having been called to the emergency room at the adjacent American University Hospital to check on a student who was being admitted.

``Hospital records show that no student was examined or admitted at that time,″ the statement said.

``There was no further communication from Dean Kevlin up to the present time. He did not return to his office no to his apartment,″ it said.

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut expressed its concern to Lebanese officials, the State Department said.

Kevlin, who was born in Middlesex, England, has worked at the American University since November 1999.

During the 1980s, dozens of Westerners were kidnapped by Muslim extremist groups in Beirut and held hostage for years. The American University was frequently a target.

The university’s president, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated on campus in 1984. His predecessor, David Dodge, was kidnapped in 1982 and held for months. Three other faculty members _ two Britons and an American _ were kidnapped and killed in the mid-1980s.

Kidnappings in Lebanon faded away after the government re-established its authority at the end of the 1975-90 civil war.

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