Sunday 17 December 2017

Two German women stabbed to death in Egypt resort attack

Egypt's Interior Ministry said the assailant was arrested immediately after the attack
Egypt's Interior Ministry said the assailant was arrested immediately after the attack Newsdesk Newsdesk

Two German female tourists have been stabbed to death while four other foreigners were wounded in an attack at a hotel in an Egypt resort.

The assault in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada came hours after a shooting near famous pyramids outside Cairo killed five policemen.

The motive behind the stabbing was unclear and the Interior Ministry said the attacker was arrested immediately.

A security official said the attacker, a man in his 20s dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans, wielded a knife and targeted foreigners.

"Stay away, I don't want Egyptians," the assailant said in Arabic, according to the official.

Without taking any blame for what appears to be a major security breach, the Interior Ministry said the attacker had got into the hotel by swimming from a nearby beach.

No group claimed responsibility for killing the five police officers but it bore the hallmarks of a smaller Islamic militant group known as Hasm that has been behind similar shootings.

The attacker in Hurghada stabbed the tourists in the face, neck and feet, according to the security official.

Two German tourists died of their wounds while four others were hurt, including citizens of Ukraine and the Czech Republic, the official said.

In Germany, the foreign ministry said it "cannot rule out" that German citizens were among the victims but stressed that it does not have that information.

An emergency doctor at the al-Salam hospital confirmed the wounded tourists were taken there.

Gunmen riding on a motorcycle opened fire on a security vehicle patrolling a Giza village, killing the five policemen, the Interior Ministry and officials said.

The deadly shooting - on the Muslim weekend when traffic is slower - heightened fears of what has become near-weekly attacks by suspected Islamic militants after a blitz attack left 23 troops dead in northern Sinai a week ago.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency for months following a series of church bombings in the spring that killed scores of Christians.

The village of Abusir in Badrashin, where the policemen were killed, is part of Greater Cairo. The policemen were part of the force tasked to guard the district of Saqqara, one of Egypt's most popular tourist sites.

According to the ministry, the militants sprayed the police vehicle with machine-gun fire and fled the scene after one returned gunfire.

However, a video circulated on social media appears to show the attackers faced no resistance. It shows them seizing police weapons and radios and setting fire to the bodies after the shooting.

Authorities cordoned off the area and ambulances rushed to the site.

Hasm, or "decisiveness", is a militant group that authorities have linked to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

It has claimed responsibility for drive-by shootings and attacks that targeted police, military, judges and pro-government figures in the past.

Press Association

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