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U.S., UK issue warnings on Bangkok

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The U.S. Embassy will soon issue a new alert urging its citizens against any travel to Thailand’s capital, the embassy spokesman said on Saturday.

“Before we were advising against all non-essential travel to Bangkok. Now we are asking for Americans to stay away from Bangkok, essential travel or not,” Michael Turner, told Reuters.

The last U.S. travel advisory, issued April 28, warned only against non-essential travel to Thailand.

The British Embassy warned on Saturday of “intense violence” in two areas of the capital.

“We expect shooting and intense violence in Ratchaprarop, Din Daeng area and other violent areas,” the embassy said in a statement, referring to areas in Bangkok where troops and protesters have clashed.

“As a further precaution, please avoid department stores in Bangkok. If safe to do so, please return home or stay where you are safe.”

In 2009, 841,000 British tourists came to Thailand, more than from any other European country, according to government data.

Last year, 627,000 Americans came to Thailand.

Reporting by Ploy Ten Kate; editing by Bill Tarrant

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