Britain warns nationals against travel to Thailand

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Britain on Tuesday extended a warning against visiting Thailand, urging its nationals to avoid all but essential travel to the whole country due to "violent incidents of an unpredictable nature."

It came after officials last week warned against visiting Bangkok following a series of deadly grenade attacks in the Thai capital.

In its latest advice Tuesday, the Foreign Office said it had "changed its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to the whole of Thailand."

"This advice reflects the increasing tension in Thailand and our concern that violent incidents of an unpredictable nature are occurring in many parts of Thailand," said a statement.

"The situation is volatile and we recommend that British nationals in Thailand or planning to travel to the country check the travel advice on the embassy website regularly for details of further developments."

The Thai capital is under a state of emergency and has been rocked by the worst political unrest for almost two decades, with 26 people killed and almost 1,000 injured this month.

Anti-government "Red Shirts," mostly supporters of ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, are campaigning for fresh elections.

Around 812,000 British nationals visited Thailand in 2008, the Foreign Office said, citing Tourism Authority of Thailand figures.

© 2010 AFP

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