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Swedes' trips to Egypt cancelled until October

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Swedes' trips to Egypt cancelled until October
11:55 CEST+02:00
Swedish travel agents have halted all trips to Egypt until mid-October due to the violence in the country, with an estimated 1,600 Swedes affected.

Travel agencies Ving, Fritidsresor, and Apollo announced on Friday that there was a stop to all travel Egypt that will last until at least midway through October.

"After that we'll see if the Foreign Ministry still advises against travelling," Apollo spokeswoman Kajsa Moström told the TT news agency.

"Together with the autumn school holiday break, the end of October is when the proper tourist season in Egypt begins."

Over the weekend, around 500 Swedish tourists who are in the north African nation will be flown home.

German media reported violence in the tourist heavy area of Hurghada, but the context of the violence remains unclear. There are 200 Swedish tourists currently in Hurghada, a city in Egypt's east on the coast of the Red Sea.

All tourists are expected to be home by Monday, according to a spokesperson at Fritidsresor.

On top of the 500 travelling Swedes in Egypt, there are around 800 who live there permanently.

At least 525 people were killed across the country on Wednesday when Egyptian security forces broke up protests in support of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, according to the latest toll provided by a health ministry official on Thursday.

Speaking with the Reuters news agency, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the EU needed to review its aid programmes with Egypt, but rejected criticism that the EU hadn't done enough.

"Everyone underestimated the problems and the dangers inherent in what was unleashed two and a half years ago," he said, adding he that there was little chance that EU-facilitate dialogue between the military and political leaders in Egypt could continue in the near term.

"I don't think there is any room for mediation at the moment. The possibilities that might have been there a week or two ago have been blown off completely by what's happened," he said.

TT/AFP/The Local/og

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