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US travel warning over Egypt clashes

Source BBC News@

At least one person was killed in Alexandria as protesters stormed a local Muslim Brotherhood office

The US has warned Americans not to travel to Egypt and has told non-emergency diplomatic staff to leave, as clashes continued in the country.

The state department also urged US nationals in Egypt "to remain alert".

The warning came as at least three people - including a US citizen - died in clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi.

Tensions have been rising ahead of a mass rally planned by the opposition on Sunday, calling Mr Morsi to step down.

His supporters are stressing what they see as Mr Morsi's "legitimacy", rejecting the opposition's demand.

Sunday is the first anniversary of the president's inauguration.

'Unprecedented exodus'

In a warning on Friday, the state department said it had "authorised the departure of a limited number of non-emergency employees and family members" from Egypt.

It asked Americans "to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time due to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest".

Cairo's main airport was packed with departing passengers, and all flights leaving for Europe, the US and the Gulf were fully booked, officials were quoted as saying.

The officials - who spoke on condition of anonymity - described the exodus as unprecedented, the Associated Press reports.

On Friday, two people died in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria as protesters stormed an office of the Muslim Brotherhood - the political movement supporting President Morsi.

There are conflicting reports about how one of them - the US national - died.

Mohammed Morsi's first year

  • June 2012 - Narrowly wins presidential election. Orders parliament to meet in defiance of a military decree dissolving it

  • July 2012 - Submits to a Supreme Court ruling that the parliamentary elections were invalid

  • August 2012 - Dismisses Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Annan and strips military of say in legislation and drafting the new constitution

  • November 2012 - Rescinds a decree stripping the judiciary of the right to challenge his decisions, after popular protests

  • December 2012 - Public vote approves draft constitution boosting the role of Islam and restricting freedom of speech and assembly

  • March 2013 - Court halts his plans to bring parliamentary elections forward to April, citing failure to refer the electoral law to the Constitutional Court

  • June 2013 - Puts Islamists in charge of 13 of Egypt's 27 governorships - controversially he appoints a member of the former armed group Gamaa Islamiya to be governor of Luxor

Egyptian officials say the victim - who is believed to have been taking photos of the clashes - was stabbed in the chest, but other reports say he was hit by gun pellets.

The state department confirmed the death, saying it was "providing appropriate consular assistance from our embassy in Cairo and our Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department".

The other fatality in Alexandria on Friday was an Egyptian man who was shot dead, according to medical sources.

Dozens more people were injured.

The office of the Muslim Brotherhood was set on fire, and the authorities are reported to have called in riot police and army helicopters to try to quell the violence.

In Port Said, also in the north, an explosion left one person dead and five injured, officials said.

Meanwhile, in Cairo thousands of Morsi supporters rallied outside the main mosque.

President Morsi earlier this week warned that divisions threatened to "paralyse" Egypt.

He offered a dialogue with the opposition - a move rejected by his opponents.

Mr Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, became Egypt's first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair.

His first year as president has been marred by constant political unrest and a sinking economy.


Đăng ký: Tieng Anh Vui

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