Egyptian security forces shoot 12 people including Mexican tourists by mistake

The Mexican president has demanded an investigation into the attack

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The Independent Online

At least 12 people have been killed after Egyptian security forces mistakenly opened fire on a convoy of vehicles carrying tourists, Egyptian officials have said.

Of the victims, at least two were from Mexico. The country's Foreign Ministry said it was still trying to identify them.

The attack, which occurred when the four vehicles entered the restricted zone in the Western Desert’s Wahat area on Sunday, also injured at least 10 Mexicans and Egyptians.

Officials said that Egyptian police and military forces had been carrying out an anti-terror operation to pursue militants in the area which borders with Libya, the BBC reported.

“[The tourists] were not supposed to be there,” said Rasha Azazi, a spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.

She told AP that the tour company “did not have permits and did not inform authorities”.

Enrique Pena Nieto, the president of Mexico, condemned the "tragic incident" on social media.

According to a translation by Reuters, he tweeted: “Mexico condemns these deeds against our citizens and has demanded an exhaustive investigation of what has occurred.”

The country’s foreign minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu also demanded an investigation, according to a Mexican statement.

A Foreign Ministry statement said that Jorge Alvarez Fuentes, the Mexican ambassador, had spoken with five Mexicans who were in a stable condition in the Dar el-Fouad hospital in Cairo.

Earlier on Sunday, the Isis group in Egypt said it had resisted an attack by the military in the desert, the BBC reported.

Egypt’s fight against Islamic insurgency has escalated in recent years after the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

Many of the attacks have been aimed at the army and the police by the Isis affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula.

In February, Egypt bombed Isis targets in Libya after the group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Additional reporting by AP

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