France advises against travel to Tunisia

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France on Friday warned its citizens "strongly" against travelling to Tunisia where a state of emergency has been declared after deadly social unrest.

"Given the unstable situation that prevails in the country, you are strongly advised to postpone all journeys which are not urgent," said the foreign ministry in an online travel advisory for Tunisia.

The French foreign ministry estimates there are up to 22,000 French citizens in Tunisia, most of them dual French-Tunisian nationals.

The Tunisian government said Friday it had declared a national state of emergency, banning public gatherings and authorising security forces to fire on anyone refusing to obey orders.

It said a 12-hour curfew across the country would come into force from 6:00 pm (1700 GMT).

Thomas Cook, one of Europe's biggest tour operators, said it was pulling out more than 4,000 tourists from Tunisia as the political unrest worsened.

© 2011 AFP

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