A tour bus has exploded in Cairo, Egypt, the Guardian is reporting. As of this writing, three have been killed due to the blast, with at least 11 others injured. Two of the dead were said to have been tourists from Vietnam, with the third reportedly being an Egyptian tour guide. The bus had a total of 14 people on board, and the blast went off when the bus was near the pyramids in Giza, the biggest tourist spot in Egypt. An IED was hidden near a wall on Marioutiya Street on the Cairo outskirts and went off as the bus approached. So far, no terrorist organizations are claiming responsibility for the explosion.
Ahmed Samy, a tuk-tuk driver, told reporters he observed the grisly scene, which involved many passersby rushing to help victims.
“One of the passengers was dead and was covered in blood,” Samy recalled.
The victims were rushed to Al-Haram hospital, where prime minister Mostafa Madbouly visited with the injured. Madbouly shared with reporters that the bus had not gone along the path it was originally supposed to take, which would have been secured by police. Egyptian prosecutors say they are investigating the situation and are urgently looking “to arrest the perpetrators.”
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 28, 2018
As the Guardian points out, tourism is one of the biggest contributors to Egypt’s faltering economy. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism accounted for 375bn Egyptian pounds or 11 percent of GDP in 2017. Egypt saw a decline in tourists following the chaos that ensued in 2011 due to political protests. Egypt’s Red Sea resorts saw the least amount of decline, that is until an explosion went off on board a Russian plane on October 31, 2015, from Sharm el-Sheikh international airport, killing all 217 passengers. After that tragedy, tourism declined there, too. An ISIS-related group took responsibility for the plane explosion, but the culprits of the bus explosion are still unknown.
ISIS had also claimed they were responsible for an attack in Hurghada, where two men entered a hotel and stabbed three tourists. Fortunately, all three survived. In 2014, the group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said they were behind a bomb that killed four people and injured 30 others on a tour bus that was traveling the Egyptian side of the Taba border crossing with Israel. This group later pledged their allegiance to ISIS. Reportedly, the most prominent terrorist group in Egypt is Islamic State, which is primarily active in North Sinai.
Egyptian authorities will be conducting a thorough investigation to see who is responsible for this latest attack.