US to review aid to Egypt amid riots

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Washington - An Obama administration official says the U.S. will review its $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt based on events unfolding in the country, where the authoritarian government is struggling to extinguish huge and growing street protests.

The U.S. also warned citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Egypt and urged Americans in the country to stay put.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the situation. Egypt has been a key U.S. ally in the volatile region. U.S. officials are now increasing calls on President Hosni Mubarak, the target of the protesters, to respond with restraint and reverse steps taken to cut off the protesters' ability to communicate.

The decision to review assistance to Egypt is a significant step as the U.S. seeks to balance the desire to maintain stability in the region with a recognition of the unexpected scope and uncertain outcome of the protests.

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