British media warn against visiting Morocco after attack on tourists

UK daily the Express ran the headline “Tourists HACKED WITH KNIVES in gory attack at popular British holiday destination.” (Screenshot via Express and Daily Mail)

British and German media have been on overdrive ever since three German tourists were attacked last week in Morocco’s second city of Fes, long a popular destination for European holidaymakers.

UK daily the Express ran the headline “Tourists HACKED WITH KNIVES in gory attack at popular British holiday destination” while the rival Daily Mail paper described them as “terrified tourists” who were left “covered in blood.”

A video of the aftermath of the attack has emerged, showing two German men sitting shirtless on a pavement while covered in blood and being asked by locals if “they are OK.”

One of the three, clearly shaken, simply shakes his head and says that he was not. A third woman, presumably the third German tourist, can be heard screaming in the background.

No official warnings

Despite the media coverage, British and German government travel advisories for the North African country have remained unchanged so far.

When asked if there were any changes currently to the travel advisory for Britons to Morocco, a spokeswoman for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office told Al Arabiya News that were no current plans to change its status.

“The last change was on the 1st of September. It might change but we currently aren’t planning for it to change,” she said.

Al Arabiya News contacted the German Embassy in Morocco’s capital Rabat who said they were not legally able to disclose information of the German victims but said they had been provided with “consular assistance.”

A source from the press office at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office told Al Arabiya News that it was difficult to lay out strict travel advisories on their citizens because of the differing nature of trips.

“We give out travel advisories to explain the security situations to our citizens so they can decide whether to travel or not,” the source said.

“We cannot forbid, through our travel advisories, as people have to decide at the end on their own because it’s different whether you take a business trip or you’re travelling to visit your parents,” the source added.

“But of course if there are demonstrations, catastrophes, or certain dangers because of terrorism then will certainly take up these information and put it into a travel advisory.”

Recent attacks

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s spokeswoman said that decisions to advise against either “all travel” or “against all but essential travel” were not taken lightly.

“Our travel advice is based on objective assessments of the risks to British nationals,” the spokesperson said . “These assessments are made by drawing on expert sources of information available to the government, including intelligence, local knowledge, and experience of our overseas staff,” she said.

The knife attack come less than a year after 38 people, 30 of whom were British, were killed when an armed gunman attacked a tourist resort near the Tunisian city of Sousse.

The attack also came days after a Russian plane crashed into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula shortly after taking off from the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

While officials have not reached final conclusions about the crash, British and U.S. officials say claims that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria bombs are “more likely” as preliminary results of the investigations come out.

Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Moroccan National Tourist Office did not yet return calls from Al Arabiya News.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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