Israeli tourists attacked in Egypt’s Giza

Motorcycle-borne masked gunmen opened fire on a tourist bus of Arab-Israeli citizens and a hotel close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt during a rally of Muslim Brotherhood supporters today but there were no casualties, security sources said, while the Interior Ministry said the attack was directed at security forces.

Egypt declared it would step up security at major tourist attractions last year after Islamist militants carried out several attacks, causing its struggling tourism industry to slump further.

Thursday’s shooting took place at the Three Pyramids Hotel, on a road leading to the Giza pyramids southwest of the capital. It is likely to raise questions over President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s repeated promises to stamp out militancy in Egypt.

The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by military following massive protests against his rule.

The attackers, apparantely part of a group of around 15 Brotherhood supporters, used birdshot and targeted the tourists while they entered the hotel on Al-Haram Street, the official said.

A suspect was arrested and police were searching for the rest of the group, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The attack on the tourists came on a day when Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christians were celebrating Christmas in the predominantly Muslim country.

Egypt’s security forces have been battling insurgency in North Sinai, which has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

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