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Americans Take Refuge in Cairo Embassy

Tensions between the U.S. and Egypt escalated as three American democracy advocates barred by Cairo from leaving the country took refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound. They are among six Americans– including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood – and four Europeans being investigated by Egyptian authorities for violating rules on foreign funding. Details of the three and what led them to seek refuge remain murky. The three were not named nor would the U.S. State Department confirm whether Sam LaHood was one of them. Neither was it clear whether they acted out of fear they faced imminent arrest. Officials insisted there was no immediate danger, but The Washington Post reported that sources close to the advocates said they would only take refuge if they feared arrest. Last month heavily armed security forces raided the offices of 10 international organizations promoting democracy and human rights, accusing them of fomenting unrest on the country. The row has jeopardized more than $1 billion of crucial American aid to Egypt.