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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
UK tourists warned over south-east Asia
Tobias and Totty Ellwood making plans to leave Bali with their brother Jonathon's body
The Ellwoods lost their brother in the Bali bomb
The Foreign Office has tightened its travel guidelines for British tourists in south-east Asian countries.

Following the Bali nightclub bomb, it is urging particular vigilance in public places, where groups of western tourists could be singled out by terrorists.

Britons are being advised to avoid Indonesia completely.

Those in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and East Timor, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Brunei, Burma are warned to be vigilant in places such as nightclubs, bars, restaurants and places of worship.

New travel advice
Avoid Indonesia
Take care in public places in the following countries:
East Timor
Businesses, British institutions and schools are warned to be particularly careful.

Tour companies are arranging to fly home the several hundred UK tourists who remain in Bali.

Eleven Britons have so far been confirmed as killed in the blast, while 21 officially remain missing.

Travel agents say the bomb has not deterred Britons from travelling abroad.

Ian Reynolds, chief executive of the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), said there had been no signs of a fresh downturn following the Bali terror attacks.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "So far those people who were due to go to the Philippines, to Bali, have readily accepted other destinations, typically in south-east Asia, Malaysia, Singapore.

"So we don't see any significant down-turn in travel bookings."

He said the travel industry recovered within three months of the 11 September atrocities.

On Friday, UK Foreign Office Minister Baroness Amos laid a wreath at the scene of the blast - the popular Sari Club in the busy resort of Kuta Beach.

She apologised to bereaved relatives on behalf of the government for a "lack of co-ordination" over plans to bring home victims' bodies.

Warning row

She said the Foreign Office would consider establishing a specialist disaster team to cope with such tragedies in the future.

Her apology came after Tobias Elwood, 36, and his sister Totty, 31, complained about their three-day battle to take home the body of their brother Jonathan, 38.

Edward Waller, a member of the Hong Kong Football Club, who is missing
Edward Waller is one of those officially missing
They said there was "no procedure" at the morgue, and Tobias said he had to screw the nails into Jonathon's coffin himself.

A row has begun over how much information the UK Government had of an imminent attack in Bali.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has insisted "no specific warnings" were given, although he said there had been "generic threat information" which covered Bali and other Indonesian islands.

He said: "We had no specific warnings of an attack in Bali. We didn't have any warnings. The US didn't, Australia didn't. It was for that reason we issued no warnings."

On Friday, Prime Minister Tony Blair told cabinet colleagues he was certain more attacks were being planned.

Helpline numbers
British Consulate: 00 62 361270572
Foreign Office: 0207 0080000

The US State Department confirmed claims by Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith that US citizens in certain countries, including Indonesia, were warned two days before the attack to stay away from nightclubs and other public places.

A memorial service will be held in St Paul's Cathedral, London, at 1700 BST next Friday to honour the victims, the Australian High Commission has announced.

It hoped the service would "provide comfort for people from all nations affected by this horrendous act".

In a further mark of respect, Union flags at Buckingham Palace and at British embassies and high commissions around the world will fly at half-mast on Sunday, which will be a national day of mourning in Australia.

More than 100 Australians were believed to have been killed in the Saturday night blast. More than 180 people have been confirmed dead altogether.

The BBC's Sarah Morris
"Numbers booking holidays to South-East Asia are down"

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See also:

18 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
18 Oct 02 | Politics
18 Oct 02 | England
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