Monday, May 02, 2005

Egypt Travel Advice Reviewed after Tourist Attacks

The Foreign Office has reviewed its travel advice for Egypt in the wake of the latest attack on tourists.
In an apparent revival of violence against foreigners – Egypt’s most vital industry – two veiled women shot at a tour bus yesterday. The fiance of one of them later blew himself up as he leaped off a bridge during a police chase.

Seven people – none of them Britons – were wounded in what was the second strike against visitors in less than a month.

It followed an explosion near a bazaar in central Cairo earlier last month, and three attacks on hotels and resorts in October, which together killed 34.

Nevertheless, while the FCO website warns that there is “a continuing threat from terrorism throughout Egypt”, and the situation is under review, the “overall level of the advice has not changed”.

It says Egyptian authorities believe that the “perpetrators of the three incidents are linked”, and adds that travellers “should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.”

Both women as well as the bomber were killed in the attacks, which took place within about two hours of each other in locations about 2.5 miles apart.

Among the wounded were an Israeli couple, a Swedish man, an Italian woman and three Egyptians. Two Egyptians were wounded in the shooting, which targeted a bus headed toward one of Cairo’s most prominent historic Islamic sites.

The attacks increased fears that militants are launching a new round of violence in Egypt, which saw a bloody campaign by Islamic extremists in the 1990s. After that campaign was suppressed, the country saw a lull in violence until October.

Tourism is Egypt’s biggest earner of foreign currency, and the industry has recovered after being severely hurt by the violence in the 1990s.
The Interior Ministry said that yesterday’s bombing was a result of the police round-up of those behind the bazaar attack.

Two militant groups posted Web statements claiming responsibility for the twin attacks – the Mujahedeen of Egypt and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Neither claim’s authenticity could be verified.



Post a Comment

<< Home