Gunmen open fire at Egyptian hotel, wounding foreign tourists

Egyptian security services outside the entrance to the Bella Vista Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
Egyptian security services outside the entrance to the Bella Vista Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.PHOTO: EPA

CAIRO (REUTERS/AFP) - Gunmen opened fire at the entrance of a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Hurghada on Friday, wounding at least two foreign tourists, security sources said.

One of the injured was from Denmark and the other from Germany, the sources said.

AFP, however, said three tourists were injured - two Austrians and a Swede. They suffered knife wounds, but are in a stable condition, it quoted health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed as saying.

The assailants were “armed” with knives when they attacked the hotel, police said. 

Security forces repelled the assault after killing one of the gunmen who was wearing a suicide bomb belt.

Another assailant is said to have been seriously wounded.

The attackers had arrived by sea to launch the onslaught on the beachside Bella Vista Hotel, security sources said.

A statement from the interior ministry said the assailants had tried to enter the hotel from its restaurant on the street front.

The attack comes a day after a gang of youths hurled fireworks and birdshot at a bus and police guarding a Cairo hotel on Thursday, without hurting anyone, according to officials and witnesses.

A security official said about 40 Arab Israelis were inside waiting to board a bus when that attack occurred.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group on Friday claimed responsibility for that attack.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for downing a Russian passenger plane on Oct 31 after it took off from the airport of Sharm el-Sheikh, another Egyptian Red Sea resort, killing all 224 people on board.

But Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has dismissed the claim as “propaganda” and promised a transparent probe into the Russian plane tragedy.

He also promised that the government would support Egypt’s vital tourism industry, which has plunged since the Russian plane crash.

The country has been roiled by mainly Islamic militant violence since the army, then led by Sisi, ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The attacks have largely focused on security forces in reprisal for a fierce crackdown on Morsi supporters.