Britain sends security team to Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt to assess terror threat

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Britain has sent a security team to assess the terror threat to the tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.

A favourite winter sun destination for Brits, the security team, thought to include members of the armed forces, was flown out ahead of holidaymakers preparing to jet off to the Red Sea resort for the Easter break.

The trip came after a tourist bus was hit by a roadside bomb in Taba, near the Israel border, killing the driver and three South Koreans in February.

The attack was claimed by Sinai-based jihadists in a campaign against the Egyptian regime, protesting the overthrowing of former President Mohammed Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some tour operators, including Thomas Cook and Tui, flew hundreds of German tourists home after Germany changed its travel advice.

The British Foreign Office (FCO) changed its advice to tourists in the aftermath of the attack to sanctioning travel only within the Sharm el-Sheik security perimeter barrier, advising against trips to other nearby resorts like Dahab and Taba, or excursions to famous sites like Petra in Jordan.

The Egyptian ambassador to London, Ashraf Elkholy, appealed to the government to resist pressure to change its advice to travellers. He said the FCO didn't need to tighten its travel restrictions, as extra security measures has been put in place around Sharm.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said he hoped the Egyptian security cordon put up around Sharm el Sheik resorts was enough: "We have had a team from the security forces of Britain in the tourist areas to monitor the measures and see what measures are in place that are satisfactory.

"The security team has been there and we have cooperated and we hope that the decision taken will be the right one.

"Tourism is for the benefit of the Egyptian economy and the British traveller as an affordable and close destination."

Whitehall officials said there would be looking at the situation closely and changing travel advice if anything necessitated the move.

The Daily Mail reports there has been a 24 per cent drop in European tourists visiting the country in January and February this year, compared with 2013 figures.

The news comes following recent claims that a British woman was raped by a luxury hotel security guard in Sharm el-Sheik.

Two hotels in Sharm el-Sheik had their licences revoked following the alleged rape of the British businesswoman.

The Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) issued a statement last week saying the five-star Hilton Sharks Bay Resort and the Sharm Holiday Resort had their licences suspended while investigations take place.

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