Tourists in gun attack 'ignored warnings'

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The Independent Online
The British tourist killed in Egypt by suspected Islamic extremists was in a group that ignored warnings from their travel company and booked a private tour to a 'forbidden' zone, it was revealed yesterday.

John Byers, 46, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, who worked for IBM, was shot dead as the party's unescorted minibus travelled to an ancient temple site in a region north of Luxor barred to tourists.

However, his wife Linda, 48, who was among four Britons wounded in the attack, arrived back at the family home last night saying she and her husband had asked travel agents in Luxor about safety. 'We are not stupid.

We are adults and wouldn't have gone anywhere we had known was dangerous,' she said.

Egyptian police said they had detained 20 suspects in connection with the attack, which they believe was carried out by members of the militant group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya.

Matthew Whalley, a director of the travel firm Hayes and Jarvis, through which the holiday was booked, said customers who travelled to Egypt were warned not to make private arrangements.

Mr Byers was the seventh tourist to be killed since unrest by fundamentalists started in 1992. His daughter Claire, 19, said her parents had gone on holiday to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. 'I could not do better for a father - it is impossible to say what this loss means to the family.'