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Egypt requires citizens to obtain prior approval for travel to Turkey, aims to block militancy

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CAIRO — Egyptian airport officials say authorities have enacted new rules that ban their countrymen from travelling to Turkey without a permit, a move intended to stem militant recruitment.

They say Egyptians aged 18-40 now need to apply for security clearance in central Cairo ahead of departure to Turkey. Over 200 people have been barred over the past 24 hours.

Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel-Latif says the new measure was an effort to prevent Egyptians from traveling through Turkey to join militant groups in Syria. Security officials estimate that hundreds of Egyptians are fighting alongside militants in Syria and Iraq.

Airport officials say Egyptians already need prior permission to travel to Syria, Iraq and Jordan. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

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