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Four people killed as tourist bus hit by roadside bomb at Giza pyramids in Egypt

Armed security personnel quickly deployed to the site and cordoned off the area.

Image: Shutterstock

Updated Dec 28th 2018, 9:41 PM

THREE VIETNAMESE HOLIDAYMAKERS and an Egyptian tour guide have been killed after a roadside bomb blast hit their bus as it travelled close to the Giza pyramids outside Cairo, officials said.

A statement by Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office said 11 other tourists from Vietnam were wounded along with the Egyptian bus driver when the homemade device exploded at 6.15pm (4.45pm Irish time). 

The improvised explosive device was placed near a wall along the Mariyutiya Street in Al-Haram district near the Giza Pyramids, it said. 

The bus was carrying a total of 16 people including 14 Vietnamese tourists, an Egyptian driver and a tour guide, according to the statement. 

Armed security personnel quickly deployed to the site and cordoned off the area for inspection. 

The white tourist bus could be seen with its windows shattered and surrounded by soot-covered debris.  

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli was set to visit the injured tourists in hospital after following up with his ministers on the incident, a government statement said. 

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli visited the injured tourists in hospital, where he announced that the tour guide had died from his wounds.   

Madbouli urged against “amplifying” the incident as he insisted that “no country in the world can guarantee that its 100% safe”.

“It’s possible at times that an individual incident takes place here or there,” he told journalists.

“We have to know that it’s possible that it would be repeated in the future.” 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. 

Egypt’s tourism

Egypt’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from terror attacks and domestic instability that has hit the country in recent years.

In July 2017, two German tourists were stabbed to death by a suspected jihadist assailant at the Egyptian Red Sea beach resort of Hurgada. 

In October 2015, a bomb claimed by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group killed 224 people on board a passenger jet carrying Russian tourists over the Sinai peninsula. 

The incident dealt a severe blow to Egypt’s tourism industry still reeling from the turmoil set off by the 2011 uprising that forced veteran leader Hosni Mubarak from power. 

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai, which surged following the 2013 military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Security forces have since February been conducting a major operation focused on the Sinai Peninsula, aimed at wiping out a local IS branch.

More than 450 suspected jihadists and around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed since the offensive began, the army said in October.

The Pyramids of Giza are the only surviving structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world and a major tourist draw attracting visitors from across the globe.

- © AFP 2018

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