US urges citizens to consider risks of travel to Egypt

Saturday 24-12-2016 04:18 PM

Logo of the US Department of State. Photo from its official page on Facebook

CAIRO, Dec 24 (Aswat Masriya) - The US Department of State warned its citizens on Friday of "threats from terrorist groups in Egypt" and urged them "to consider the risks of travel to the country".

Citing security reasons, the department said in a travel warning that it " prohibits diplomatic personnel from traveling to the Western Desert and the Sinai Peninsula outside the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; U.S. citizens should also avoid travel to these areas."

It added that despite that the Egyptian government maintains heavy security presence at major tourist sites, "terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the country.

The statement listed a number of attacks that occurred in Egypt in recent months, including the bombing of a church adjacent to one of Egypt's most symbolic religious sites for Copts, two attacks on security personnel in Giza earlier in December and separate assassination attempts of former Grand Mufti and assistant to prosecutor general, in August and September respectively.

The statement named the northeastern part of the Sinai peninsula and the Western Desert as areas that should be avoided by US citizens.

Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, following mass protests against his rule. North Sinai has been at the epicenter of this insurgency.

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