Mexican tourists killed by Egyptian security forces
SECURITY forces in Egypt have mistakenly killed 12 people, including Mexican tourists, during an anti-terror operation, the interior ministry says.
The tourists were travelling in four vehicles that entered a restricted zone in the Wahat area of the Western Desert, the ministry said. Sources said eight of those killed were Mexicans.
Ten Mexicans and Egyptians were also injured.
Egypt has been battling Islamist militants for years.
Attacks on army and police, mainly in the Sinai Peninsula, have escalated since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto condemned the incident and said he had “demanded an exhaustive investigation by the Egyptian government”.
The Mexican foreign ministry said Mexico’s ambassador in Egypt had visited the local hospital and spoken to five Mexicans who were in a stable condition.
The disastrous shooting up by Egyptian security forces of a tourist convoy in the Western Desert is yet another sign of growing instability in the Arab world’s most populous country. Egypt’s western oases – Bahariya, Dakhla, Kharga and Farafra – are spectacularly beautiful, hence their popularity with today’s adventure tourists.
But since the Arab Spring upheavals of 2011, security along Egypt’s border with Libya has deteriorated as the Islamist insurgency has grown across the country. Vast stretches of both the Sinai Peninsula and the Western Desert are now too dangerous for Westerners to visit.