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Terrorists target tourists with Egyptian bus blast

May 21, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In a new blow to Egyptian tourism, a roadside bomb explosion has targeted a tourist bus taking 25 South African tourists from Cairo airport to the Giza pyramids area – the second bombing attack on a tourist bus in Egypt in six months.

The latest blast wounded at least 12 people.  A rudimentary “improvised explosive device” (IED) containing nails and pieces of metal was detonated remotely on the outskirts of the Grand Egyptian Museum as the bus passed, security sources said.

In December just after Christmas, a roadside bomb killed three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide and wounded about 10 others, when it blew up beside a tour bus less than four kilometres from the pyramids.

The Grand Egyptian Museum is due to open next year next to the Giza pyramids. It will house some of Egypt’s most prized antiquities.

Tourism is a key source of foreign revenue for Egypt. Australia’s travel advisory level for Egypt stands at “Reconsider your need to travel to Egypt overall; higher levels apply in some areas.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warns that terror attacks “could occur at anytime, anywhere in Egypt”.

“Potential targets include religious sites and communities, government buildings, security checkpoints and locations frequented by tourists.”

In 2014, a bus bombing in Egypt killed three South Korean tourists (all members of a church group) and the bus driver.

Egyptian tourism at that time was already in tatters, with the country racked by political turmoil and regular rioting. The situation has improved since, but much of the Middle East is still considered risky for tourism, with a few notable exceptions like Jordan and Israel.

Written by Peter Needham

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