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50,000 Russians in Egypt as Death Toll Rises

About 50,000 Russian tourists are in Egypt, where hundreds of people have been killed amid bloody clashes between the supporters of the deposed president Mohamed Morsi and security forces.

Egyptian authorities on Wednesday declared a state of emergency, which will be effective for one month, while the military will enforce a curfew in 11 provinces, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The authorities made the decision after police stormed Islamist protest camps in Cairo, causing skirmishes to break out across the country.

The Red Sea Port of Hurghada, where half of the Russian tourist population in Egypt are staying, has also been caught up the violence.

Egypt's Health Ministry said 525 people died as a result of the clashes and almost 4,000 were injured.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is Morsi's main support base, said that 2,000 were killed, the BBC reported.

The Russian Embassy in Cairo said that no Russian citizens were injured in clashes in the city. Its consular section has been closed for two days due to the upheaval.

Russian tourists can ask to be evacuated from danger areas free of charge, the Federal Consumer Protection Agency said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry advises Russians not to leave holiday resorts or travel around the country, especially to Cairo and other big cities.

The dangers of being mixed up in the violence was demonstrated by a television crew from Russian state news channel Rossiya 24.

Their car was stopped by armed men who threatened them with knives and took their computers, passports and about $6,000 in cash, one of the channel's reporters said.

Nobody was injured as a result of the incident, the channel said.

Travel operators will give full refunds to people who have already paid for their trip but are unable to go to Egypt, the Federal Tourism Agency said. A telephone hotline has been set up to help travelers resolve any problems getting their money back: +7 800 100 00 04.

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