x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 November 2017

Three foreign tourists wounded in attack on Egyptian hotel

Security forces opened fire at the two assailants, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

CAIRO // Two suspected militants on Friday stabbed and wounded three foreign tourists – two Austrians and a Swede – at a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Security forces opened fire at the two assailants, killing one and seriously wounding the other, according to the interior ministry. It said two men armed with knives had entered the hotel’s outdoor restaurant at the front of the building and attacked the tourists.

All three wounded tourists were taken to hospital, where one was treated and discharged, according to the ministry. There was no word on the condition of the other two.

Security officials initially said the attackers wounded two tourists, a Dane and a German, but such discrepancies are common in the immediate aftermath of terror attacks.

The attack came just hours after the local ISIL affiliate claimed responsibility for an attack a day earlier on a hotel in Cairo near the Giza Pyramids. No one was hurt in that attack.

Egypt has been battling an insurgency by militants led by the ISIL affiliate. The insurgency has been focused in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula but has frequently spilt over into the mainland since the 2013 ouster of president Mohammed Morsi.

The Hurghada attack is a dangerous precedent since Egypt’s Red Sea resorts have done better than elsewhere in the country in weathering damage to the vital tourism sector in the five years of turmoil since a popular uprising topped longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Thursday’s attack was also significant in that it targeted a hotel in Cairo, a heavily policed city of some 18 million tourists, at a time when security had appeared to improve in recent months after a series of disruptive bomb attacks.

Egypt’s tourist industry was decimated after the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai in October. The local ISIL affiliate claimed it downed the aircraft with a bomb. All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, mostly Russian tourists.

* Associated Press