South Africans injured in attack in Egypt

Staff Writer | May 21, 2019
Three South Africans were reportedly injured when a roadside bomb was detonated near a bus ferrying tourists near the Giza pyramid complex.

Seventeen people travelling in a tourist bus were reported injured in the bomb explosion, including three South Africans. 

The three are being treated in facilities in Egypt. A further 25 South Africans were in the bus, but escaped injury and were to be repatriated. The South African embassy indicated that it was visiting hospitals to ensure that the situation could be accurately monitored.

It was not at first clear who might be responsible for the attack. Tensions within Egyptian society, and conflict between its relatively secular government and opponents adhering to a version of politicised Islam, are an element of its politics.

As a cost-effective destination with a rich cultural history, as well as prime settings for leisure activities, Egypt has a thriving tourism industry that provides employment opportunities and large inflows of foreign currency. Its geographical location makes it attractive to the European and African markets.

This has made Egypt’s tourism industry a target for terrorist activity for many years. As far back as 1992, then President Hosni Muburak drew attention to this, saying that insurgent groups were targeting the industry because of the outsized damage attacks would inflict on the country.

This has been an ongoing problem. In November 1997, in a particularly bloody incident, an attack on the Deir el-Bahari temple complex in Luxor claimed 62 lives.

The Giza pyramid complex is an iconic signifier of Egypt’s heritage. In December 2018, another bus was attacked near the pyramids by a roadside bomb. Three Vietnamese tourists and a local guide were killed. 

 

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