US says American killed in Egypt protests



WASHINGTON- The United States confirmed an American was among three people killed in protests in Egypt Friday as it updated its travel warning allowing non-emergency diplomatic staff to leave the country.
"We can confirm that a US citizen was killed in Alexandria, Egypt," acting deputy State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.



US says American killed in Egypt protests
"We are providing appropriate consular assistance from our embassy in Cairo and our Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department. We do not have further information to provide at this time."
Ventrell's statement came just after the State Department "authorized the departure of a limited number of non-emergency employees and family members."
In an updated travel warning, the department cautioned US citizens "to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time due to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest."
"US citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security."
The American citizen was among two people killed in Egypt's second city of Alexandria. A third person died in violence in Port Said as clashes erupted during rival demonstrations for and against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi a year after his election.
The US citizen, a 21-year-old who reportedly worked for an American cultural center in Alexandria, was killed as he took photographs of a demonstration, Egyptian officials said.
The State Department warned that "political unrest ... is likely to continue in the near future due to unrest focused on the first anniversary of the president's assumption of office."
"Demonstrations have, on occasion, degenerated into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in deaths, injuries and extensive property damage," it added.
"Participants have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails and security forces have used tear gas and other crowd control measures against demonstrators. There are numerous reports of the use of firearms as well."
The notice stressed, however, that the US embassy, which is very close to Cairo's Tahrir Square, remained open and noted that the tourist areas including Luxor, Aswan and Red Sea resorts like Sharm el-Sheikh remained calm.
Ventrell earlier called for the protests to remain peaceful.
"We urge all parties to refrain from violence and express their views peacefully. And political leaders have the responsibility of taking steps to ensure that groups do not resort to violence," he told journalists.
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Saturday, June 29th 2013
AFP
           


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