US Embassy bans personnel from religious sites outside greater Cairo

Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Jun 2017

US embassy in Cairo "Reuters"
The U.S embassy (C) building is pictured on a foggy day near Tahrir square in downtown Cairo, Egypt October 9, 2016 (Reuters)

The US issued a new travel warning on Monday for personnel assigned to Egypt, prohibiting them from visiting religious sites outside greater Cairo due to the risk of further terrorist attacks.

"Until further notice, personnel assigned to the US Mission in Egypt are prohibited from visiting religious sites outside greater Cairo.," read the travel warning issued on the US Embassy in Cairo’s website.

“Terrorists have attacked targets associated with the Christian community in Egypt. Incidents have occurred in both urban and isolated settings. Additional attacks may be possible,” the warning said, adding that Egypt has deployed security forces to protect Egyptians and foreign visitors.

The new US embassy rules do not specifically ban travel to Christian sites of worship. However, it follows a string of deadly terrorist attacks on Coptic Chritians, both at places of worship and on pilgrimage.

Last week, the terrorist group Daesh claimed a gun attack on Coptic Christians in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya that killed 30 people. The gun attack followed two suicide bombings in April that killed 46 worshippers at Easter Sunday church services. In December, a bombing killed 24 people at St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in Cairo.

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