The bus was bombed in the first attack targeting foreign tourists in two years. (AP: Nariman El-Mofty)
A roadside bomb has hit a tourist bus in an area near the Giza pyramids, killing two Vietnamese tourists and wounding 12 others, according to Egypt’s Interior Ministry.
- The bus was carrying 16 people, but only two were unharmed
- Egypt has battled Islamic militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula
- The bombing comes as Egypt’s vital tourism industry recovering
The bus was traveling in the Marioutiyah area near the pyramids on Friday (local time) when the crude roadside bomb, concealed by a wall, went off.
The Egyptian bus driver, the tour guide and 10 Vietnamese tourists were wounded.
The Giza pyramids are a major attraction in Egypt’s vital tourism industry. (Reuters: Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
The bus was carrying 14 Vietnamese tourists and only two of them escaped unharmed, according to Egyptian officials.
Egypt has battled Islamic militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an insurgency that has occasionally spilled over to the mainland, targeting minority Christians or tourists.
However, this is the first attack to target foreign tourists in almost two years.
The attack comes as Egypt’s vital tourism industry is showing signs of recovery after years in the doldrums because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak.
It will likely prompt authorities to further tighten security around churches and associated facilities ahead of the New Year’s Eve celebrations and next month’s Christmas celebrations of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the dominant denomination among Egypt’s estimated 10 million Christians.
During the past two years, militant attacks against Christians in Egypt — usually targeting churches or buses carrying pilgrims to remote desert monasteries — have killed more than a hundred people.
Security is predicted to tighten following the fatal bombing of the tourist bus. (AP: Nariman El-Mofty)