The UK foreign office has warned holidaymakers to avoid non-essential travel to some parts of Egypt after a tourist bus was targeted in a terrorist attack on Sunday, killing four people.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued new travel advice for the country which suggested avoiding South Sinai, except for the areas within the popular Sharm el Sheikh resort.
It warned that there was “a high threat from terrorism” and that “terrorists continue to plan attacks” in the wake of the incident in Taba, close to the Israeli border, when three South Korean tourists were killed and 12 others seriously wounded.
The FCO said: “Attacks could be indiscriminate and occur without prior warning. Terrorists could target protesters and the Egyptian authorities.
“Attacks targeting foreigners cannot be ruled out. Attacks have mainly been aimed at the security forces, their facilities and other government buildings. You should take great care near these buildings.”
While Sharm el Sheikh is protected by “enhanced security measures”, the FCO said it now advises against all but essential travel to the Governorates of Beni Suef, Minya, Asyut and Sohag and the Governorate of South Sinai. It said it continued to advise against absolutely all travel to North Sinai, which sees regular skirmishes between militants and security personnel.
The change to FCO advice also comes after unrest surrounding the trial of former President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi was ousted by the military when protesters demanded he step down after just one year in power. He, together with leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood, now face four separate trials on a range of charges, some of which carry the death penalty.
The recent political problems in Egypt have had a devastating knock-on effect on its tourist industry, a major contributor to the country’s economy.
The FCO’s advice for the rest of the country remains the same, meaning tourism visits can still be encouraged. The agency added that “there were no violent protests in the South Sinai resorts during recent disturbances in Egypt”.