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Egypt: tourist repatriations stepped up from Sharm el-Sheikh

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Egypt: tourist repatriations stepped up from Sharm el-Sheikh



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Russia is said to have repatriated 25,000 tourists from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in two days, amid heightened security following the passenger plane crash nine days ago.

Foreign travel companies are reportedly warning they may fly elsewhere unless security at the airport can be guaranteed soon.

Russian investigators sent to Egypt, as well as British and American intelligence officials, are increasingly convinced the aircraft was brought down by a bomb. Britain’s Foreign Office has said “there is a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device”.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the suspected attack which killed 224 people on board a Russian jet flying holidaymakers home to St Petersburg.

“So many people came from Russia and other countries. And now it has stopped. We think maybe the tourism will collapse,” said Russian tourist Vera Dvaregova in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Britain has flown more than 5,000 holidaymakers home from the resort since Friday. A similar number waited to leave over the weekend and there were reports of chaos and anger at the airport.

The British travel association ABTA reported a number of cancellations and delays from Sharm el-Sheikh.

But many other tourists seemed happy to stay. An estimated 14,000 Britons were said to remain in the Red Sea resort.

“I’ve been in Sharm el-Sheikh for 21 days. After the plane crash we decided to book an extra five days because we prefer to stay here and get the message to everybody that it’s safe here,” said a female British sunbather.

The British government has advised against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el-Sheikh as a precautionary measure, but it has not raised its terror threat level for the resort itself.

On Saturday it issued this advice for British people still at the resort.

With the number of flights out limited, and additional security causing delays and frustration, many tourists are continuing their holidays as planned.


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