Egyptian forces accidentally attack Mexican tourist convoy killing 12

Egypt’s1 police and military killed 12 Egyptians and Mexicans and injured ten when they accidentally shot at a Mexican2 tourist convoy whilst engaging militants in the country’s western desert, the Ministry of Interior said on Monday.

“A joint force from the police and military, whilst chasing terrorist elements in the oasis area of the western desert tonight, accidentally engaged four four-wheel drives belonging to a Mexican tourist group,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The incident resulted in the death of 12 Mexicans and Egyptians and the injury of ten others who have been transferred to hospitals,” the statement said.

“The area they were in was off limits to foreign tourists,” it said.

The incident took place in Bahariya Oasis about 250 miles south west of Cairo.

UPDATE| #Egypt Tourism Minister vows ‘maximum punishment’ if proven company had taken tourists to prohibited area: http://t.co/Y1uYI3nv1h34

Egyptian Streets (@EgyptianStreets) September 14, 20155

Amr Imam, a relative of Awad Fathi, 37, manager of one of an eco hotel in the Western desert and the tour guide of the trip, who was killed, said that the incident took place on Sunday at 4pm but the security had tried to cover it up until he posted on twitter what happened. He said that the convoy consisted of French and Mexicans tourists and eight members of the tour company. The statement of the Ministry of Interior said that the convoy had parked in restricted zone, but Mr Imam claimed that they had parked the SUV cars on the main road and walked about 500 metres into the desert to have lunch, when they were targeted. “The area, they were camping in, was not a restricted zone.” He said.

“The corpses are still in laying in the desert. Awad’s brothers were trying to reach it but they were told by the security that prosecution must review it before it moved.” Mr Imam said. The ministry did not give the exact number of Mexicans killed, or indicate whether the vehicles were targeted by automatic weapons or aerial bombardment.

The Mexican foreign ministry later said in a statement that two Mexican nationals had been killed.

“For the moment, we regrettably confirm the death of two Mexican nationals in this incident,” the ministry said in a statement. The Mexican ambassador has visited five other nationals who were injured in the attack and are being treated at the Dar al-Fouad Hospital in a western Cairo suburb. They are listed in stable condition.

Mexican president Pena Nieto condemned the attack and called for an investigation.

“Mexico condemns these incidents against our citizens and has demanded an exhaustive investigation about what happened from the government of Egypt,” he said on Twitter.

En un tr gico incidente en Egipto, turistas mexicanos fueron atacados. Lamento profundamente que connacionales hayan perdido la vida.

Enrique Pe a Nieto (@EPN) September 14, 20156

M xico condena estos hechos en contra de nuestros ciudadanos y ha exigido al gobierno de Egipto una exhaustiva investigaci n de lo ocurrido.

Enrique Pe a Nieto (@EPN) September 14, 20157

Local reports said an Apache helicopter fired on the convoy.

Rumors in Egypt that army helicopter mistakenly fired on a group of tourists in western desert, 22 said killed

Gregor Peter (@L0gg0l) September 13, 20158

Egypt police say a joint op w/military accidentally shot 4 tourist cars, killing 12, injuring 10 Mexicans/Egyptians. pic.twitter.com/qoHNrnYeVi9

Jahd Khalil (@jahdkhalil) September 14, 201510

The desert region, popular with tourists, is also a militant hideout. Last month the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group (Isil) beheaded a young Croatian there11 who was working for a French company and have also launched numerous attacks against security forces. Earlier on Sunday Isil released a statement carried by its supporters on Twitter saying it had repelled an attack by the Egyptian military in the western desert, a recent development for the insurgency that had been largely based in the Sinai Peninsula with occasional attacks taking place in Cairo and other cities.

Egypt’s economy is traditionally driven by tourism but arrivals have plummeted as the country tries to recover from years of political and economic chaos.

About ten million tourists visited in 2014, down sharply from a 2010 figure of almost 15 million people who visited the country with its archaeological sites and Red Sea resorts.

References

  1. ^ Egypt’s (www.discountholidays.info)
  2. ^ Mexican (www.discountholidays.info)
  3. ^ #Egypt (twitter.com)
  4. ^ http://t.co/Y1uYI3nv1h (t.co)
  5. ^ September 14, 2015 (twitter.com)
  6. ^ September 14, 2015 (twitter.com)
  7. ^ September 14, 2015 (twitter.com)
  8. ^ September 13, 2015 (twitter.com)
  9. ^ pic.twitter.com/qoHNrnYeVi (t.co)
  10. ^ September 14, 2015 (twitter.com)
  11. ^ Last month the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group (Isil) beheaded a young Croatian there (www.discountholidays.info)

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