Swedes warned to cancel Sinai trips

The Swedish foreign ministry said on Saturday that travellers should cancel any planned trips to the Sinai peninsula following bombings in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed at least 88 people.

“We are telling tourists not to travel to Sinai,” press spokeswoman Åsa Arvidson told AFP.

There were no reports of Swedes injured or killed in the attacks in the popular Egyptian resort, she said. Neighbouring Denmark has reported two nationals slightly injured.

The Swedish foreign ministry said it knew of two groups of Swedes holidaying in the region but that it was up to tour operators to repatriate the tourists.

“If they need our assistance, they will get it, but it is primarily their responsibility,” Arvidson said.

One of the operators, Apollo, said that all 29 Swedes it had flown to Sharm had been accounted for. Some wanted to be flown home, or go to a new destination and “we are working on that, but the problem is that all the flights are full”, spokesman Peter Bertilsson told AFP.

No large-scale repatriation of tourists was planned, he said.

Travellers having booked holidays in the Egyptian resort could cancel and get their money back or change their bookings for a new destination without charge, he said.

The Swedish embassy in Cairo has dispatched officials to Sharm el-Sheikh to assist any Swedish nationals needing help.

Neighbouring Denmark said two of its nationals had been slightly hurt in the blasts but nobody had been seriously injured or killed. It said it was not asking its nationals to stay away from the region for now.

Nor was it planning any repatriations, although the foreign ministry said tourists should be vigilant.

“Be very careful, especially in places where there are many foreigners,” it warned.

Some 3,000 to 4,000 Danes are currently holidaying in Egypt and around 650 in the Sharm el-Sheik area.

Some 245 Danes had travelled to the region with operator Apollo, which cancelled all planned excursions and told tourists to stay in their hotels, as did operator Atlantis, which looks after 400 Danish tourists in Sharm.

“Tourists are advised to stay in their hotels until further notice and follow the instructions of the local authorities,” the Danish foreign ministry said.

A Finnish tourist told the Finnish news agency FNB from Sharm el-Sheikh where she was on a scuba diving holiday, that she was woken up by the blasts 200 metres away and thought at first that there had been an earthquake.

She said she had not met any other Finns in the area over the past weeks.

Neither the Finnish foreign ministry nor the Finnish embassy had any reports about Finns holidaying in the area.

The Norwegian foreign ministry also said it had no reports about any of its nationals hurt or killed.