British embassy in Cairo forced to close

Have your say

The British Embassy in Cairo has been forced to close for security reasons, the UK ambassador to Egypt has said.

Embassy officials are working with the Egyptian authorities to find a way of reopening public services in the capital as soon as possible.

John Casson said on Twitter: “Public services at the British Embassy in Cairo are suspended today for security reasons.”

A statement from the Foreign Office (FCO) confirming the closure said: “Please do not come to the embassy building.”

It added that the British Consulate-General in Alexandria in the north of Egypt was operating as normal.

In its online travel advice for Egypt, the FCO warns that previous attacks in the country have targeted government buildings.

It said: “There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

“You should be vigilant at this time. Terrorists continue to plan attacks in Egypt. Attacks could be indiscriminate and occur without prior warning.”

A carol concert scheduled at the Ambassador’s residence yesterday evening was also postponed.

Last year a British national was seriously injured when Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has pledged allegiance with Isis, carried out an attack on the Egyptian interior minister in Cairo, killing two people.

The FCO advises against all travel to the North Sinai Governorate, which shares a border with Israel, and advises “against all but essential travel” within 50km (31 miles) of the Libya border, the majority of west Egypt and in South Sinai Governorate.

However, the advice excludes the popular tourist destinations along the Nile River including Luxor and Red Sea resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh which have remained calm throughout.