02/17/2014, 00.00
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Sinai: 5 die in attack on South Korean tourist bus

The bus was returning from the monastery of St. Catherine, after a visit by the group of tourists from Jincheon (the central part of South Kore). Analysts fear a return to "political blackmail", attacks against tourists to harm the Egyptian government.

Cairo ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - A suicide attack on a tourist bus in the Sinai, near the Taba border crossing the with Israel left five people dead and 14 wounded . The victims are three South Koreans and two Egyptians (the driver and the alleged bomber). The bus was returning yesterday from St. Catherine's Monastery, which the Christians tourists from Jincheon - in the central part of Korea - had just visited.

Israeli ambulances were stopped at the border, about 100 yards from the scene of the explosion, and the Egyptian government declared a state of emergency in the tunnel under the Suez Canal. The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying: "We strongly condemned the terror attack against the tour bus... It is beyond deplorable".

According to some analysts, this is a return to the "political blackmail" of the 1990s, when Islamist groups targeted tourists, the most sensitive sector of the Egyptian economy. Their objective was to damage the government led by Hosni Mubarak.

The Egyptian Minister for Tourism Hisham Zaazou said: "Such despicable acts won't deter the Egyptian government and people from completing the road map". "The perpetrators will find no hiding place and we will not rest until we have brought all those who planned, funded and carried out this atrocity to justice," added presidential spokesman Ehab Badawy.

The interim government in Cairo has recently approved the new national constitution, and is preparing to convene presidential elections. One of the strongest candidates is the Minister of Defense, General al-Sisi , who led the army in the removal of former President Morsi (supported by the Muslim Brotherhood ) and announced he would run for president a few days ago.


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