Australian current affairs presenter Tara Brown and a film crew from 60 Minutes have been detained in Beirut during a botched attempt to recover two Australian children.

Police detained presenter Brown, producer Steven Rice and a cameraman while they were trying to film the recovery of two Australian children who had been taken to Beirut by their Lebanese father, according to Fairfax Media.

A spokesman for 60 Minutes told news.com.au: "We can confirm a crew from 60 Minutes has been detained in Beirut. We won't be giving out any more details, other than to say we are working with authorities to get them released and back home ASAP."

The mother of the children, who is from Brisbane, says they were taken to Lebanon by her ex-husband, who pretended they were going for a short holiday, and then refused to return them.

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A child recovery agency reportedly helped separate the kids from their paternal grandmother.

Beirut police located the crew and recovery agency and sought to interview them, as well as seized a car and a boat used in the operation, according to Fairfax.

It comes after another 60 Minutes drama overseas last month, when presenter Liz Hayes, producer Rice and their crew were attacked by refugees in Sweden.

News.com.au has contacted DFAT for comment.

- news.com.au