Egypt, bomb against tourists at pyramids: at least 17 wounded

A homemade bomb was detonated at the passage of a bus loaded with visitors from South Africa. The attack took place not far from the pyramid of Cheops. The alert rises for the African Cup on June 21st. In a similar attack last December three Vietnamese tourists died.


Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 17 people have been injured in an attack on a tourist bus, which took place yesterday at the gates of Cairo.

A group of visitors coming from South Africa were targeted by the explosion of their vehicle near the pyramids. Official sources report that the explosion - which took place near the Great Egyptian Museum under construction in Giza – was caused by a bomb hidden along the road.

Some images taken a short distance from the attack show a blue car with shattered windows and a white bus, also with broken glass and the lower part damaged by the explosion. There were 25 South African tourists on board; the explosion also affected the car that carried four citizens of Egyptian origin.

According to preliminary information, those affected would have suffered only minor injuries and would not be life threatening. Security sources report that tourists received medical treatment and operations are in progress for their repatriation.

Last December a similar attack struck another group of tourists, killing three Vietnamese and their Egyptian leader.

Security sources report that the rudimentary bomb was placed on the roadside, near Elremaya Square, which is just over a kilometer south from the pyramid of Cheops. The attack comes just over a month after the start of the African Cup, scheduled in the Pharaohs' country from July 20 June to 21.

The target of the attackers - so far no group has officially claimed the attack - the tourism industry, an essential source for the Egyptian economy and already deeply affected by the political instability and attacks that followed the revolt of the 2011. A street protest that led to the fall of then-president Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in power. From 14.7 million in 2010, the number of visitors dropped to 8.3 million in 2017.

Despite the arrests of hundreds of convicted persons imposed by the judiciary for crimes related to terrorism, the attacks and violence continue to bloody - albeit sporadically - Egypt. Explosions and targeted attacks concern tourist sites, security forces and the Coptic Christian minority.

In response to the attacks, in February last year the army launched a massive offensive against the militia, focusing on the North Sinai region. To date, 650 fundamentalist militiamen and 45 members of the armed forces have died.

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