Wednesday 19 June 2019

Bomb injures 16 in attack on tourist bus at pyramids

Attack: The damaged bus was close to the pyramids at Giza. Photo: Reuters
Attack: The damaged bus was close to the pyramids at Giza. Photo: Reuters

Aidan Lewis

An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 16 people, mostly South Africans, close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt.

The bus was carrying 25 South African tourists from the airport to the pyramids area. Four Egyptians in a nearby car were also injured by broken glass.

Security and judicial sources said a rudimentary device containing nails and pieces of metal had been detonated remotely on the perimeter of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, not far from the site of a roadside blast that hit another tourist bus last December.

The bomb shattered or blew out some of the windows on the bus and left a crater in a wall beside it.

Security forces cordoned off the site of the explosion and the wounded were taken to a nearby hospital.

One witness said he heard a "very loud explosion" while sitting in traffic.

The museum is due to open next year as the new home for some of the country's top antiquities on a site adjoining the world-famous Giza pyramids. It is part of an effort to boost tourism, a key source of foreign revenue for Egypt.

The sector has been recovering after tourist numbers dropped in the wake of a 2011 uprising and the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet.

There was no damage to the museum from the blast, which happened 50 metres from its outer fence and more than 400 metres from the museum building.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Egyptian security forces are waging a counter-insurgency campaign against Islamist militants, some with links to Isil, that is focused in the north of the Sinai Peninsula.

Attacks outside Sinai have become relatively rare, though there have been several security incidents in recent months in Giza, across the Nile from central Cairo.

In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 injured when a roadside bomb hit their bus less than 4km from the Giza pyramids.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News