CAIRO - Foreign governments stepped up their warnings about travel to Egypt, with several urging their nationals to evacuate as soon as possible, further fueling uncertainty over where the Arab nation is headed after nearly a week of mass protests.
The fears of foreign tourists mirrored those of many Egyptians. Dozens with the means to do so rented jets or hopped aboard their own planes in a mad dash that did little to boost confidence in the future of a country that, until a week ago, had been viewed as a pillar of stability in a restive region. Those leaving included businessmen and celebrities.
The American, Swiss, Turkish and Dutch governments issued advisories encouraging nationals already in the country to leave and telling those who planned trips to Egypt to reconsider. A growing number of governments - including China, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Poland - warned against travel to most parts, if not all of Egypt. Arab nations, including Iraq, either sent in jets to take their citizens home, or offered to do so.
"If I had a visa to anywhere, I'd join them. But that's not going to happen," said Mohammed Khaled, a 28-year-old Egyptian doctor. "Right now, I'd settle for a gun, but I can't even find one of those."
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