US issues travel warning for Americans in Egypt


An Egyptian police vehicle burns as protesters chant during clashes with riot police at Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on November 19, 2011


Khaled Desouki

The State Department has issued a travel alert warning US citizens in Egypt of "the continuing possibility of sporadic unrest" ahead of the country's first round of presidential elections at the end of May.

The warning says demonstrations and political rallies "are likely to occur" in the run up to the historic elections and "during the drafting of a new constitution," according to CBS News.

Elections are to take place May 23- 24, and if needed, a second round June 16-17, 2012. Egypt's next president is scheduled to take office at the latest by June 30. The warning expires on that day.

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The US Department of State "strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations in Egypt ... should security forces block off the area around the US Embassy during demonstrations, Americans "should not attempt to come to the Embassy."

US citizens are advised to carry ID, remain alert to the local security situation and carry a working cell phone.

There have been violent clashes over the last year throughout the country between police and protesters, during which a number of Americans have been arrested.

The warning says the security situation in most tourist centers, including Luxor, Aswan, and the Red Sea Resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh, continues to be calm.

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