Warning to Britons as Egypt violence worsens

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British holidaymakers have been warned not to travel to four major Egyptian cities after violence escalated between police and anti-government protesters in the country, bringing soldiers on to the streets.

The Foreign Office advised Britons not to travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez unless their journeys were essential.

The army has intervened in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, after thousands of demonstrators calling for the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak yesterday defied a nationwide curfew, started fires and tried to storm government buildings.

Protesters were driven back by tear gas.

At least one demonstrator was killed as protests spread across the country, sparking gun battles and bringing to eight the total death toll in four days of civil unrest.

Demonstrations were held in at least 11 of the country’s 28 provinces despite the authorities’ decision to cut off internet and mobile phone services to prevent protesters from organising.

The Foreign Office also warned that people in Cairo or other large cities should “follow the news on TV and radio and not go out in central Cairo or other areas where demonstrations are taking place”.

British Airways yesterday delayed its flight from London Heathrow to Cairo as it would have landed during the 13-hour night-time curfew imposed by President Mubarak.

The airline said its operations to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh would continue as normal.

Hague urges reforms: Page 13.