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Some foreign nationals leave Egypt
August 17, 2013, 9:45 pm

Security forces corner a Morsi supporter at one of the protest camps in Cairo [Xinhua]

Security forces corner a Morsi supporter at one of the protest camps in Cairo [Xinhua]

A number of embassies, foreign companies and nationals are leaving Egypt or considering evacuation options in the wake of continued violence since the government forcibly dispersed protest camps set up by supporters of the former president.

On August 14, security forces clashed with protesters at two key camps in Cairo; the ensuing violence left at least 578 people dead, including over 40 police, and over 3,700 injured.

Although the camps were cleared, violence continued as Muslim Brotherhood supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi fought running battles with security forces throughout the country. On Friday, nearly 200 people were killed.

On August 15, following an Egyptian government declaration of a state of emergency, the US State Department issued a travel alert warning American citizens from traveling to Egypt and those in the country to leave “at this time because of the continuing political and social unrest.”

On August 17, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said it would also evacuate 3,000 of its nationals currently in Egypt.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra also on Saturday ordered to start evacuation of all Thais out of the country.

A government-chartered plane with 340 seats will start on Sunday to transport the first patch of Thai nationals to Dubai, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Suraporn Tovichakchaikul.

He said the ministry has prepared two options to move the Thais out of Egypt: using Royal Thai Force planes to directly fly to Cairo or using chartered flight to move them to Dubai and then onto a Thai Airways International flight to Bangkok.

Meanwhile, the Hellenic National Center of Air Operations (EKAE) in Athens, Greece has been drawing up plans in case Greek citizens need to be hurriedly evacuated out of Egypt.

The violence may also disrupt foreign business ventures; Scottish oil company Dana Petroleum said on Saturday that it had evacuated eight of its non-Egyptian managers and was running operations remotely from Aberdeen.

Condemnation of this week’s violence in Egypt has come from many quarters, including traditional allies. South Africa on Friday went beyond strongly criticising the interim government in Cairo and has called for an investigation into “the massacre” of protesters.

Update: Tourist travel to Egypt, already limited since January 2011, has been further impeded by advisories and cancelled bookings. The German Travel Association, for example, said most Germany travel companies have cancelled all bookings to Egypt until September 15 while the government there warned its citizens not to travel to Cairo, Alexandria, the Red Sea or Hurghada resort.

Travel companies in Belgium and Sweden have also cancelled bookings to Egypt.

Source: Agencies