News / Middle East

Four Killed in Blast on Egypt Tour Bus

Security officials and onlookers are seen at the site of a tourist bus blast in the Egyptian south Sinai resort town of Taba Feb. 16, 2014.
Security officials and onlookers are seen at the site of a tourist bus blast in the Egyptian south Sinai resort town of Taba Feb. 16, 2014.
Elizabeth Arrott
An explosion has hit a tourist bus at Egypt's Taba border crossing with Israel, killing at least three South Korean travelers and the Egyptian bus driver.  There has been no immediate claim of responsibility.   

The blast ripped through the bus, blowing out windows and part of the roof.  Initial reports indicate a bomb had been planted on or near the bus.

South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda said all the details were not immediately clear.

He said the Korean tourists had traveled from the popular tourist site of St. Catherine's at the base of Mount Sinai. They were waiting to transfer at the Israeli border when the blast went off.

Taba, Sinai, EgyptTaba, Sinai, Egypt
Taba, Sinai, Egypt
Taba, Sinai, Egypt
Officials on both sides immediately closed the border crossing.

Egyptian officials have condemned the attack.

The Sinai peninsula, with its historic and tourist sites, is also home to jihadists and arms smugglers.  Vast swathes of the region are largely outside the government's control.  Much of the militant activity has been in the north.  Taba, St. Catherine's and most of the resorts are in southern Sinai.
Violence has surged since the ouster last year of President Mohamed Morsi, with the government cracking down on Sinai militants and linking them to Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, a claim the Brotherhood denies.
The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al Maqdis has claimed responsibility for many attacks on security personnel and installations in recent months, both in Sinai and increasingly in Cairo and the Nile Delta.

The Taba blast marks a departure from that trend.  It is the first significant attack against foreigners and recalls a series of bombings in the Sinai in 2004.  Among them was a strike on the Taba Hilton hotel that claimed 31 lives.
Egypt's tourism sector, devastated by three years of political unrest, had recently been trying to lure foreigners back by promoting areas outside of Cairo as safe.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: harry bondi from: sydney
February 17, 2014 6:18 AM
where are the inteligent educated muslims condemning this butchery. if you dont condem these atrocities people will think you support them
let your voices be heard
In Response

by: from: earth
February 19, 2014 2:31 AM
We are dooming our children to the arabs.
This is our precise future because instead of
banning madness and mental slavery we are politely ushering in gutter thoughts
and paedophilia which is allowed and legal in this dirt bag cult. .

Paedophilia is legal in islam. What will happen
yo/our children???

by: from: Earth
February 17, 2014 3:19 AM
Only idiots go to muslim countries to sight see. The planet's gene pool gets stronger with every dead idiot . Only with islam and muslims totally out of the gene-pool will we again start re-building earth as a human humane civilization. Till then we have to suffer the losses of all the brilliant minds and genetics that islam corrupts, kills or stunts.

by: Eliran Al-Hadad from: Jerusalem
February 16, 2014 2:18 PM
The Salafists don't want the foreigners to see the huge gap in prosperity and freedom between the Sinai and Israel. Poor visitors who were curious.

by: ali baba from: new york
February 16, 2014 1:55 PM
It is business as usual . violent is the new game for Muslim brotherhood. Syria is gone. Egypt will gone .Libya will gone all of this in the name of Islam

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs