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A bungled child recovery attempt involving a 60 Minutes television crew being detained in Lebanon has evolved into a major diplomatic incident amid persistent allegations a gun was used and children’s lives were put at risk during the operation.

Meanwhile, it has emerged a former Australian soldier was involved in running the controversial child recovery business that was part of the attempt to snatch the children from their father’s family at a Beirut bus stop on Thursday.

The botched operation unfolded after Brisbane woman Sally Faulkner travelled to Lebanon to recover her two children Lahela, 6, and Noah, 4, from their father, Ali Elamine.

Ms Faulkner was working with United Kingdom based Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) to take the children from Mr Elamine, who runs a surfing business in Beirut.

60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, soundman David Ballment and a cameraman were also in Beirut to film the incident and Ms Faulkner being reunited with her children.

Ms Faulkner was working with United Kingdom based Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) to take the children from Mr Elamine, who runs a surfing business in Beirut.

60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, soundman David Ballment and a cameraman were also in Beirut to film the incident and Ms Faulkner being reunited with her children.