State Dept: Americans take refuge at Cairo embassy

Egyptian riot police and demonstrators throw stones at each other during clashes close to the interior ministry in Cairo, Egypt, early Wednesday, June 29, 2011. (AP Photo)

Egyptian riot police and demonstrators throw stones at each other during clashes close to the interior ministry in Cairo, Egypt, early Wednesday, June 29, 2011. (AP Photo)

CAIRO (AP) — A U.S. State Department spokeswoman says a number of Americans whom Egyptian authorities have been barred from leaving the country have sought refuge at the American Embassy in Cairo.

Kate Starr told reporters in Washington Monday that a "handful" of Americans are at the embassy waiting for permission to leave Egypt.

Egyptian authorities banned at least 10 foreigners, including six Americans, from leaving the country during a criminal investigation into the work of their U.S.-funded organizations. Those banned included Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, but it's not clear if he's among the Americans at the embassy.

The move has heightened tensions between Cairo and Washington and called more than a billion dollars in U.S. aid to Egypt into question.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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