- Egyptian security forces shot and k****d 12 tourists
- The military mistook the group for Islamic terrorists
- The area has been restricted to civilians following a military operation
At least 12 tourists were k****d on Saturday, September 12, when Egyptian security forces mistook the group for terrorists while the troops were conducting military operations in a restricted area in the Western Desert.
Most of the victims were Egyptian and Mexican tourists aboard the four vehicles mistakenly attacked by soldiers. Ten other people were reportedly injured and have been taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The security forces have launched anti-terror operations in Egypt’s Western Desert since summer after five soldiers were k****d when their helicopters crashed while hunting suspected Islamic State (IS) militants in the area.
The ISIS-affiliate Sinai Province group later claimed responsibility on social media; saying they managed to repel the attack by Egyptian military. The access to the area had since been closed to civilians after the incident.
In a statement to Reuters, the Egyptian ministry said the four-vehicle convoy carrying the tourists were accidentally shot and attacked by the soldiers after they were found travelling inside the off-limits territory.
“A joint force from the police and military, whilst chasing terrorist elements in the oasis area of the western desert tonight, accidentally engaged 4 four-wheel drives belonging to a Mexican tourist group,” the ministry said in the statement on Monday
“The incident resulted in the d***h of 12 Mexicans and Egyptians and the injury of 10 others who have been transferred to hospitals,” it added.
It further claimed the tourists should not have been in the area and their entry is considered illegal, but further investigation is sought to determine how the vehicles gained, or were allowed, access.
Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruis Massieu said their agency is now coordinating with its Egyptian counterpart to confirm the news.