World

Two tourists killed in Egyptian resort knife attack

Two tourists killed in Egyptian resort knife attack

Two German women were killed in the attack at the Red Sea resort and another three people injured.

Two Ukrainian tourists were killed and four other tourists wounded when a man attacked them with a knife at a resort in Hurghada on Friday afternoon.

One of the wounded women is Czech and two are Armenian. The four were in stable condition, Naglaa Shata, the health undersecretary in Red Sea province, told the newspaper.

In Germany, the foreign ministry said that it "cannot rule out" that German citizens were among the victims, but stressed that it doesn't yet have that information.

Earlier, officials said that the attackers were masked and that they targeted a checkpoint.

"We condemn this cowardly and malicious act that seemed to have targeted specifically tourists, who wanted to spend a recreational time at the beach".

"A police officer who was near the site of the attack exchanged fire with the assailants forcing them to flee", the statement said. Their nationalities were not immediately known.




Egyptian police ramped up security around the resort on Friday and sealed off the beach in front of the Zahabia Hotel.

Anyway, the attack may deal a new blow to tourism, a key sector of the economy of Egypt, which is trying to attract new tourists after years of instability.

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordered Higher National Security prosecution to investigate the attack.

Terrorist attacks in the Sinai Peninsula have weakened the sector even more, such as the Russian airplane blast in 2015 that killed 224 passengers or the recent "Islamic State" (IS) attack which killed more than 20 Egyptian soldiers near the city of Rafah.

According to Egypt's Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists in the first third of 2017 increased by nearly 50 percent compared to a year ago.

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.

Thomson and First Choice issued a statement which said: "We're aware of the awful events that took place today in Hurghada and can confirm that none of our customers were affected".


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