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Egypt Imposes Travel Bans on Australian, American, MENA Says

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Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Egyptian prosecutors today imposed travel bans on a U.S. and an Australian citizen following allegations that they bribed people to stage a strike, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

Prosecutors released the two yesterday and imposed the travel ban pending further investigation, the Cairo-based agency said. Investigations show that the Australian, who works as a journalist, entered the country on a tourist and not a work visa, MENA reported. The U.S. citizen is a student, it said.

They are accused of bribing people in the Nile Delta town of Al-Mahala El-Kobra, MENA said.

In a separate case that has strained ties between the U.S. and Egypt and jeopardized American financial aid to the Egyptian military, Egypt has referred 43 people, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, to trial as part of a probe into foreign funding of non-governmental agencies. The ruling military council, which has come under increased pressure to cede power to civilians, has accused “foreign hands” of fomenting unrest in the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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