Explosion injures tourists near Giza Pyramids
Cairo: An explosion targeting a tourist bus has injured at least 16 people near the Grand Egyptian Museum, next to the pyramids in Giza.
South African tourists are among the injured. Most of those hurt suffered minor injuries, while three were treated in hospital, the BBC reported on Sunday citing officials.
A device went off close to the museum fence as the bus was passing.
It is not yet known who was behind the bombing.
In December, three Vietnamese tourists and a local tour guide were killed after a roadside bomb hit their bus.
A witness, Mohamed el-Mandouh, told a media outlet he had heard a “very loud explosion” while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast, which is close to the capital Cairo.
The blast hit the bus which was carrying 28 passengers, Egyptian Tourism Minister Rania A. Al Mashat said.
Images taken after police cordoned the bus show a vehicle with windows blown out or shattered, and glass littering the aisle inside.
A private car was also damaged behind the bus.
Seven South African tourists and 10 Egyptian civilians were injured, Nile News TV says.
The Tourism Minister said all of the people affected by the blast were being “fully supported in their onward travels”.
Egyptian officials hurried to confirm everything is under control. No life-threatening injuries, all the wounded in a stable condition, and no damage caused to the strategic tourist site. They wanted to send a clear message of assurance.
But it’s the second explosion in nearly six months near Egypt’s most important landmark, the Great Pyramids, and once again questions are raised about how adequate security measures are in such a strategic location.
The blast took place a few hundred metres away from the Grand Egyptian Museum, due to open next year. Officials confirm no damage was caused to the museum, expected to house the country’s top antiquities.
The timing of the explosion is quite critical. Egypt is getting ready to host the African Cup of Nations for football (Afcon) next month.