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Ireland warns Irish tourists to avoid Tunisia

AFP , Friday 10 Jul 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan (Photo: Reuters)
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Ireland on Friday warned its citizens to steer clear of Tunisia as it updated its travel advice two weeks after three Irish nationals died in the Sousse beach massacre in which 38 people were killed.

"We took the decision to upgrade our travel advice on Tunisia to advise against all non-essential travel," said Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

"This is the second-highest warning category on our five-point scale for travel advice," he said in a statement.

The move takes into account the British decision on Thursday to advise its nationals to leave Tunisia after the June 26 attack in which 23-year-old student Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on tourists.

Sunway Holidays, which operated the only direct flight from Ireland to Tunisia, suspended the route on July 3.

"We've suspended our flights to Tunisia so we're not flying there at the moment until the situation clarifies itself," said Tanya Airey, managing director of Sunway Holidays.

"Our last customers came back from Tunisia on the third of July," she told AFP.

Flanagan urged any Irish tourists in Tunisia to make arrangements to leave, noting that his department estimates there are 50 Irish citizens still in the country.

"We are now encouraging any Irish visitors to Tunisia to review whether their presence in Tunisia is essential and, where it is not, we are advising them to leave by commercial means," he said.

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