Egypt kills 40 in raids after bombing of tour bus
Egyptian security forces killed at least 40 people suspected of being militants in North Sinai and Giza, officials said Saturday, a day after an explosion hit a tour bus, leaving four people dead and 10 others wounded.
The Ministry of Interior did not explicitly link the killing of the suspected militants to the attack on the tour bus Friday, in which an improvised device hidden in a wall less than 21⁄ miles from the
2 pyramids at Giza exploded and killed three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide.
The ministry said in a statement that security forces had learned that “a number of terrorists” had “planned a series of attacks that targets state institutions, tourism, armed forces, police, and Christian places of worship.”
The security forces simultaneously raided two sites on the outskirts of Giza on Saturday, killing 30 militants there, as well as another refuge in Arish in North Sinai, killing 10 more in shootouts.
The ministry also published photos of the dead with their faces blurred and weapons lying beside them.
Several attacks have threatened to wreck the country’s tourist industry, with militants hitting popular tourist sites like the Karnak temple in Luxor, which was attacked in 2015. Militants have also targeted churches in recent years, and officials have scrambled to counter the assaults.
Egypt’s military and police forces have been waging a series of major campaigns against militant groups since at least 2013, targeting the Sinai Peninsula as well as areas in the south and near the border with Libya.
In January 2016, militants stormed a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada, stabbing and wounding European tourists. In December that year, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility after a bomb ripped through Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral during Sunday morning Mass, killing dozens. A year later, gunmen launched a deadly attack on the Mar Mina Church in the southern Cairo neighborhood of Helwan.
In November of this year, the Islamic State said it was behind the deadly shooting of Coptic Christian pilgrims on two buses.
But during the raids against militants by Egyptian security forces, the government has been accused of conducting extrajudicial killings.
In March 2017, Human Rights Watch accused Egypt’s security forces of the extrajudicial executions of at least four people in January that year. “The security forces may have arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared the men and then staged a counterterrorism raid to cover up the killings,” the agency said.
In January 2017, the Interior Ministry said that its counterterrorism forces had tracked a group of suspected Islamic State fighters and were preparing to raid the house when they came under fire.
According to the ministry, the troops returned fire and killed all 10 suspects inside. The ministry named six of the dead men and accused them of participating in killings and other attacks on security forces, some of which had been claimed by the Islamic State.
The Vietnamese ambassador to Egypt visits an injured Vietnamese tourist at a hospital in Cairo on Friday. A bomb hit a tourist bus near the Giza Pyramids, killing three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide, officials said.Vietnamese Embassy