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U.S. Warning About Egypt Dropped

January 27, 1998

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ The U.S. Embassy has quietly dropped its warning that Americans should avoid visiting southern Egypt, where Islamic extremists massacred foreign tourists last year, but said some areas remain risky.

Embassy travel guidelines issued after the Nov. 17 massacre of 62 people at a temple near Luxor urged that Americans not travel to the region. Fifty-eight foreigners and four Egyptians were among the dead.

The embassy confirmed today that the warning was removed earlier this month from its latest travel advisory, which says instead: ``Egyptian authorities have enhanced security measures to protect tourists in Egypt.″

Still, the embassy said the areas around the southern towns of Minya, Assiut, Sohag and Qena remain dangerous.

Those are strongholds of the Muslim extremists who have waged a campaign of violence since 1992 to try to overthrow Egypt’s secular government and replace it with strict Islamic rule.

The attack in Luxor has seriously hurt tourism in Egypt. Economists estimate it could cut $2 billion this year from the country’s tourism earnings, which totaled $3.5 billion in 1997.

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