- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel alert Thursday to Americans traveling in Egypt as violence between security forces and protesters continues to flare.

“Gender-based violence in and around protest areas, where women have been the targets of sexual assault, poses an ongoing concern,” the statement said. “There has been a recent and notable increase in the use of explosive devices to target police or other government institutions or individuals, which have resulted in casualties and damage to infrastructure.”

The alert noted that one American has already been killed during a June demonstration in Alexandria, and many have been arrested for taking pictures during the protests.

American translator Jeremy Hodge of Los Angeles was released Jan. 26 by Egyptian authorities. He and his roommate were arrested late one night in their apartment, the Associated Press reported. The roommate, Egyptian filmmaker Hossam Eddin el-Meneai, remains in custody.

The State Department alert urges U.S. citizens to avoid all protests, even though tourist areas have generally been calmer than suburban areas. The alert notes that peaceful protests have quickly turned violent.

In the event of an emergency, American citizens may go to the U.S. Embassy.

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