U.S. citizens should postpone non-essential travel to Egypt and Americans who are in the country should stay inside amid violent street demonstrations, the State Department said on Friday.

Egyptian demonstrators celebrate atop an army tank in Tahrir square during protests in Cairo January 29, 2011

In a travel alert, the department urged citizens in Egypt to exercise caution and to defer movement until the situation stabilizes. Noting that Egyptian security forces may block off the area around the U.S. Embassy, the State Department said citizens should not attempt to go to the embassy.

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