TWO SUSPECTED MILITANTS stabbed and wounded three foreign tourists — two Austrians and a Swede — at a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Hurghada tonight, the Interior Ministry said.
Security forces opened fire at the two assailants, killing one and seriously wounding the other, according to a statement.
The wounded attacker was arrested, according to security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, said two men armed with knives had entered the restaurant at the front of the seaside, four-star Bella Vista Hotel and attacked the tourists.
The ministry identified the deceased attacker as 21-year-old Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Mahfouz, a student from the Cairo neighbourhood of Giza.
Both attackers, it said, carried knives and pellet guns.
All three wounded tourists were taken to hospital, where one was treated and discharged, the statement said.
There was no word in the statement on the condition of the other two, but Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed described the condition of the three as “not serious.”
Security officials had initially said the attackers wounded two tourists, a Dane and a German, but such discrepancies are common in the immediate aftermath of terror attacks.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs told TheJournal.ie:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of a shooting in Egypt and stands ready to provide consular assistance.
A member of the hotel’s management staff who witnessed the incident said the attackers sneaked into the Bella Vista from a hotel next door, accessing the facility from the beach.
The slain attacker, he said, appeared to want to take a female tourist hostage, dragging her into the hotel’s lobby with his knife held against her neck when he was shot dead by a policeman.
The witness spoke on condition of anonymity in line with the hotel’s management regulations.
The attack came just hours after the local affiliate of the Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed responsibility for an attack yesterday on a hotel in Cairo near the Giza Pyramids.
No one was hurt in yesterday’s attack, in which a group of over a dozen men fired flares and birdshot at a security post outside the hotel where Arab Israeli tourists were staying.
The Hurghada attack is a dangerous precedent since Egypt’s Red Sea resorts have done better than elsewhere in the country in weathering the slump suffered by the city’s vital tourism sector in the five years of turmoil since an uprising toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Thursday’s Giza attack was also significant in that it targeted a hotel in Cairo, a heavily policed city of some 18 million residents, at a time when security appeared to improve in recent months after a series of bomb attacks.
Contains reporting by the Associated Press.