Cairo bombing: At least four killed after explosion hits tourist bus near Giza Pyramids

Attack will likely prompt authorities to tighten security around churches ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations 

Samuel Osborne
Friday 28 December 2018 19:01
comments
Bomb strikes tourist bus near Giza pyramids

A roadside bomb has hit a tourist bus near the pyramids in Cairo, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, Egyptian authorities said.

Three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed as the bus was travelling in the Marioutiyah area near the Giza Pyramids when the roadside bomb, concealed by a wall, went off.

The interior ministry confirmed the death of two of the tourists, and the state prosecutor’s office later said a third had died.

In total, 14 Vietnamese tourists had been travelling on the bus, it said. Police are investigating, the ministry added.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told local TV from Al Haram hospital the guide had died from his injuries.

“The bus deviated from the route secured by the security forces,” Mr Madbouly told Extra News TV.

“We have been in contact with the embassy of Vietnam to contain the impact of the incident, and what is important now is to take care of the injured,” he said.

The bus driver later told local media he had followed a standard tourist bus route.

No immediate claim of responsibility was reported. Islamist extremists including some linked to Isis are active in Egypt and have targeted foreign visitors in the past.

The scene of an attack on a tourist bus in Giza province south of the Egyptian capital Cairo (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Photos from the scene of the attack showed the bus behind a police cordon with one of its sides badly damaged and the windows blown out. Police and firefighters were at the scene.

Egypt has battled Islamic militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an insurgency that has occasionally spilt over to the mainland, hitting minority Christians or tourists.

This is the first attack to target foreign tourists in almost two years.

A member of the Egyptian security forces stands guard at the scene of an attack (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

The attack took place as Egypt’s vital tourism industry is showing signs of recovery after years in the decline because of the political turmoil and violence following 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.

Over the past two years, militant attacks against Christians in Egypt – usually targeting churches or buses carrying pilgrims to remote desert monasteries – have killed over a hundred people.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments