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Returning Brits tell of Egypt chaos

Britons arriving back from crisis-stricken Egypt have spoken of the "absolute chaos" in its capital, Cairo, as law and order began to break down in the Arab republic.

David Lewis, from Manchester, spent two days at Cairo airport while rioters, protesters and looters swarmed the streets in demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak.

Mr Lewis, who cut a holiday to visit his niece short, told the BBC: "It did not take us long to realise it was not safe to be out on the streets.

"We were lying in bed at night hearing shots, looking out of the window seeing groups of men with sticks in their hands trying to protect their homes."

Egyptian-born Ahmed Osman, 76, of west London, who has lived in Britain for 45 years, said: "A lot of young people who do not have work are destroying shops and stealing. You can't say the Egyptian people in general support this uprising. I think in two or three days it will be over, now political changes have been made."

Meanwhile, a young British woman in Cairo has spoken of her search to find a place of safety during the protests in Egypt.

The 26-year-old, from Leatherhead, Surrey, who does not want to be named for security reasons, said she had left her flat near Tahrir Square on Sunday night because of safety fears.

"We have seen a lot of people with injuries and a lot of people who have been unconscious and passed over the crowds," she said. She said she had stayed on Sunday night near the presidential palace in Cairo but was now seeking another place as she believed protesters were due to descend on the area.

"In the area we were living in, our neighbours have barricaded the road in, it has been quite scary, when it gets dark all the neighbours go out in the roads, they have knives, they have bats, whatever they can find."

The Foreign Office upgraded its travel advice warning against all non-essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Luxor. It also recommends that British nationals without a "pressing need" to be in Cairo, Alexandria or Suez should leave.

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