News / Middle East

Islamists Claim Egypt Tourist Attack

An Egyptian policeman stands guard in front of a damaged bus after a deadly explosion Sunday near the Egyptian border crossing with Israel in Taba, Egypt, Feb. 17, 2014.
An Egyptian policeman stands guard in front of a damaged bus after a deadly explosion Sunday near the Egyptian border crossing with Israel in Taba, Egypt, Feb. 17, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
Islamic militants have claimed responsibility for an apparent suicide attack on a tourist bus carrying Korean pilgrims in the Sinai on Sunday.

A statement by a group calling itself “Ansar Beit al-Maqdis” or "Supporters of Jerusalem," claimed responsibility for the apparent suicide bombing. The Arabic text called the bomber a “hero,” and said the attack was “part of (the group's) economic war” against Egyptian authorities. The authenticity of the statement could not be confirmed.

The group has claimed responsibility for several previous attacks.

Mourners chanted the funeral liturgy for the slain driver of the tourist bus at Mar Girgis Church in Cairo Tuesday, as the Egyptian media lashed out at “terrorists” for the Sinai attack that killed three people, including two South Koreans.

Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou (L) and South Korea's Consul to Egypt Lim Wan Shun (C) hand flowers to a South Korean tourist who was injured in a blast on a bus in Taba, at a hospital in Sharm El-Sheik hospital, southern Sinai, Feb. 17, 2014.Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou (L) and South Korea's Consul to Egypt Lim Wan Shun (C) hand flowers to a South Korean tourist who was injured in a blast on a bus in Taba, at a hospital in Sharm El-Sheik hospital, southern Sinai, Feb. 17, 2014.
x
Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou (L) and South Korea's Consul to Egypt Lim Wan Shun (C) hand flowers to a South Korean tourist who was injured in a blast on a bus in Taba, at a hospital in Sharm El-Sheik hospital, southern Sinai, Feb. 17, 2014.
Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou (L) and South Korea's Consul to Egypt Lim Wan Shun (C) hand flowers to a South Korean tourist who was injured in a blast on a bus in Taba, at a hospital in Sharm El-Sheik hospital, southern Sinai, Feb. 17, 2014.
Reuters news agency reported the same group, “Ansar Beit al-Maqdis,” warned tourists to leave Egypt before February 20 on a Twitter account affiliated with the group. Other foreign and Egyptian sources reported the tweet was bogus and the group has no official Twitter account.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said Tuesday that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is a threat to tourists in Egypt and is trying to undermine the country's political progress.

Police General Mustafa Rega'i, security chief for Giza province, told a press conference Tuesday that terrorism would not be tolerated anywhere in Egypt.

He said that he warns terrorists to stay away from Egypt and for all those who support them to stay away as well.

Many Egyptian analysts claim that Islamic militants in the northern Sinai have ties to both the Palestinian group Hamas and the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood denies the charges.

Egyptian analyst Said Sadek said the origins of the “Ansar Beit al-Maqdis” group are murky at best and that it is odd that a group with a name related to Palestinians would be attacking only Egyptian targets.

"Why did they intensify their attacks only on Egyptian authorities, while their official name is that they are the "Supporters of Jerusalem" and why should they attack the Egyptian government especially after [ousted President] Morsi left office," he asked. "Is this Palestinian or Egyptian or something that has been created to support Morsi through violence?"

The same group claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt against Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim last year. It also claimed responsibility for a bombing last month at Egypt's security headquarters in Cairo. Islamic militants have killed scores of police and army officers in attacks since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was deposed last July.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs