Bern "deeply concerned" by situation in Egypt

The Swiss foreign ministry has said it is “deeply concerned by the acts of violence committed against the Egyptian people”.

This content was published on February 3, 2011 - 09:03 and agencies

In a statement on Wednesday evening, it said concrete measures had to be taken without delay to respond to the legitimate claims of Egyptians who were calling for more democracy and freedom.

On Thursday Egypt’s health minister said five people had been killed in violence in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that was sparked when supporters of President Hosni Mubarak charged at anti-government protesters there.

“Most of the casualties were the result of stone throwing and attacks with metal rods and sticks. At dawn today there were gunshots. The real casualties taken to hospital were 836, of which 86 are still in hospital and there are five dead,” Health Minister Ahmed Samih Farid told state television.

The United States sharpened its criticism of Mubarak's teetering regime and expressed outrage over violence against protesters, declaring that its once-close partner should set a brisk course for new elections.

Swiss travel group Kuoni said it would not offer flights to Egypt or Tunisia between February 7 and March 31. This week, however, flights to Egypt are going to plan.

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