2-Year Streak of Tourists Safe in Egypt Has Ended

Roadside bomb hits tour bus near Giza pyramids, killing 2 and injuring 12
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2018 1:13 PM CST
In this Sept. 7, 2013, photo, a tour bus in Egypt passes near the historical site of the Giza pyramids, near Cairo.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

(Newser) – A roadside bomb hit a tourist bus on Friday in an area near the Giza pyramids, killing two Vietnamese tourists and wounding 12 other people, Egypt's Interior Ministry said in a statement. It said the bus was traveling in the Marioutiyah area near the pyramids when the crude roadside bomb, concealed by a wall, went off. The wounded included 10 Vietnamese tourists. The other two wounded were the Egyptian bus driver and the guide, per the AP. The bus was carrying a total of 14 Vietnamese tourists, it added, noting that only two of them escaped unharmed. The attack takes place as Egypt's vital tourism industry is showing signs of recovery after years in the doldrums because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt has battled Islamic militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an insurgency that has occasionally spilled over to the mainland, hitting minority Christians or tourists. However, this is the first attack to target foreign tourists in almost two years. 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 more than a hundred people.

(Read more Egypt stories.)

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