Blast hits tourist bus near Egypt’s Giza pyramids; 17 injured

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An injured woman is seen at the site of a blast near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday. (Reuters)
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An exploision has targeted a tourist bus near the Great Pyramids according to local security sources, who say at least 12 foreign tourists were injured. (Twitter: @Alroeya)
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ds according to local security sources, who say at least 12 foreign tourists were injured. (Twitter: @Alroeya)
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An exploision has targeted a tourist bus near the Great Pyramids according to local security sources, who say at least 12 foreign tourists were injured. (Screenshot/Twitter)
Updated 20 May 2019
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Blast hits tourist bus near Egypt’s Giza pyramids; 17 injured

  • There were no reports of deaths
  • One security source said they included South African nationals

CAIRO: An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 17 people near a new museum being built close to the Giza Pyramids in Egypt on Sunday, two security sources said.

The bus was carrying 25 South African tourists, while a private car behind it was carrying four people. Most of the wounded included South African nationals.

A source at Al-Haram Government Hospital said there were no deaths and that people were in a stable condition.
Security and judicial sources said the explosion was caused by a bomb that had been placed near the wall of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

They said a rudimentary device containing nails and pieces of metal had been detonated remotely on the perimeter of the museum, not far from the site of a roadside blast that hit another tourist bus in December.

A witness, Mohamed El-Mandouh, told Reuters he heard a "very loud explosion" while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast.

Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road next to a low wall with a hole in it.

The Cairo-Alexandria road is one of the busiest routes used by tour buses because it leads to the famous pyramid site.

The attack follows clear signs of recovery in the tourism sector, with a growth of 34 percent in the first quarter of 2019 in hotel occupancy and expectations for growth of more than 20 percent this year.

“It’s sad that Egypt is targeted this way,” Samir Mohamed, an engineer living in Cairo, told Arab News. 
“Tourists hear about our great achievements for the Rod El-Farag bridge, the Grand Egyptian museum and our new capital but then terrorism spoils Egypt’s image.”

Last December three Vietnamese tourists and a local tour guide died after a roadside bomb hit their bus.

Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road next to a low wall with a hole in it.

One witness told Reuters he heard a “very loud explosion” while sitting in traffic.

South Africa’s Foreign Ministry said staff from its embassy in Egypt were visiting hospitals to check on the reported injuries.

The museum is due to open next year as the new home for some of the country’s top antiquities on a site adjoining the world-famous Giza pyramids. It is part of an effort to boost tourism, a key source of foreign revenue for Egypt.

The sector has been recovering after tourist numbers dropped in the wake of a 2011 uprising and the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet.

There was no damage to the museum from the blast, which happened 50 meters from its outer fence and more than 400 meters from the museum building, the Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Egyptian security forces are waging a counter insurgency campaign against militants, some with links to Daesh, that is focussed in the north of the Sinai Peninsula.

Attacks outside Sinai have become relatively rare, though there have been several security incidents in recent months in Giza, across the Nile from central Cairo.

In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured when a roadside bomb hit their tour bus less than 4 km from the Giza pyramids.

(With Agencies)


Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

Updated 18 June 2019
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Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

  • Morsi, was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention, says state TV
  • The former president died aged 67

CAIRO: Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi was buried on Tuesday in eastern Cairo, one of his lawyers said, a day after he collapsed in court and died.

“He was buried in Medinat Nasr, in eastern Cairo, with his family present. The funeral prayer was said in Tora prison hospital” where he was declared dead on Monday, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud said.

Egyptian state television announced that Morsi, 67, who was ousted by the military on July 3, 2013, had been attending a court session at his trial on charges of espionage and links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

It was reported that he collapsed in the courtroom inside a glass cage he and others had been sharing, before his body was transferred to a local hospital.

Morsi died from a sudden heart attack, state television reported early on Tuesday, citing a medical source. The source said the former president, who was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention.

Attorney-General Nabil Sadiq issued a statement saying: “The accused, Mohammed Morsi, in the presence of the other defendants inside the cage, fell unconscious, where he was immediately transferred to the hospital.

“The preliminary medical report stated that by external medical examination they found no pulse, no breathing, and his eyes were unresponsive to light. He died at 4:50 p.m. and no apparent injuries to the body were found.”

Sadiq added he had ordered the transfer of teams from the Supreme State Security Prosecution Office and the Southern Cairo Prosecution Office to conduct an investigation into Morsi’s death, and to examine surveillance footage from the courtroom and collect witness testimonies.

He also ordered that a senior forensic committee headed by the chief medical officer and the director of forensic medicine to prepare a forensic report on the cause of death.

Various outlets say that a state of high alert has been issued by the military and the Ministry of the Interior throughout the country following the news, for fear of riots or activity by the Muslim Brotherhood, in which Morsi was a prominent figure.

Morsi became president in June 2012 after the first democratic elections in the country following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak on Jan. 25, 2011. He was Egypt’s fifth president.

He was born to a family of farmers on Aug. 20, 1951, in the village of Al-Adwa in Sharkia province. He married in 1978 and leaves behind his wife, five children and three grandchildren.

Following his deposition and arrest, Morsi was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Oct. 22, 2016, over bloody clashes that took place on Dec. 5, 2012 in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of Morsi rejecting a constitutional declaration issued in November of that year.

Other sentences meant his total incarceration could have been up to 48 years, with the ongoing espionage case potentially carrying a further maximum sentence of 25 years.

In Istanbul on Tuesday, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets, mourning former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and some chanting slogans blaming Cairo authorities for his death.

* With AFP