Escalating violence between anti-Morsi forces and the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egyptian government has prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a travel advisory urging Americans to stay away from Egypt for at least the next two months.
"The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Egypt to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest, incidents of which have led to recent violence," the State Department said in its Feb. 6 warning. "U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security."
No Americans have been killed or injured so far, but Americans have been caught up in spontaneous clashes, the warning said. It underscores the severity of violence taking place throughout Egypt. Peaceful demonstrations outside the presidential palace in Cairo turned violent again Friday. The palace was the site of clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood's militia and anti-Morsi demonstrators in early December that left four dead.
Security forces used teargas and water cannons to keep protesters away from the palace, while protesters threw stones and fireworks into the palace courtyard.
Protesters chanted, "The people want to overthrow the regime," and "Down with the supreme guide's rule," according to the Egypt Independent . They demanded that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi leave office.
The head of Egypt's Republican Guard told the state-run MENA news agency that two officers and three soldiers had been injured by demonstrators.
The opposition National Salvation Front is holding what it calls the "Friday of Departure," demanding the end of Muslim Brotherhood rule and the resignation of Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil's cabinet.
Clashes were also reported in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya where 29 injuries were reported as of Friday evening Egyptian time, while others were reported in Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, and Kafr-El Sheikh.