Three Vietnamese tourists, guide killed by Egypt roadside bomb

Police officers inspect the scene of the bus blast in Giza, Egypt.
Police officers inspect the scene of the bus blast in Giza, Egypt.PHOTO: REUTERS
Officials at the scene of the attack on a tourist bus in Giza.
Officials at the scene of the attack on a tourist bus in Giza.PHOTO: AFP
Police officers inspect the scene of the bus blast in Giza, Egypt.
Police officers inspect the scene of the bus blast in Giza, Egypt.PHOTO: REUTERS
Officials at the scene of the attack on a tourist bus in Giza.
Officials at the scene of the attack on a tourist bus in Giza.PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - Three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an Egyptian tour guide were killed on Friday (Dec 28) when a roadside bomb blast hit their bus as it travelled close to the Giza pyramids outside Cairo, officials said.

A statement by Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office said 11 other tourists from Vietnam were wounded along with the Egyptian bus driver when the homemade device exploded at 6.15pm (12.15am on Saturday, Singapore time).

The improvised explosive device was placed near a wall along the Mariyutiya Street in Al-Haram district near the Giza Pyramids, the statement said.

Armed security personnel quickly deployed to the site and cordoned off the area for inspection.

The white tourist bus could be seen with its windows shattered and surrounded by soot-covered debris.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli was set to visit the injured tourists in hospital after following up with his ministers on the incident, a government statement said.

Madbouli said that the Egyptian tour guide had died in hospital from his wounds.

Egypt's tourism industry has been struggling to recover from terror attacks and domestic instability that has hit the country in recent years.

In July 2017, two German tourists were stabbed to death by a suspected Islamic militant at the Egyptian Red Sea beach resort of Hurgada.

In October 2015, a bomb claimed by a local affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group killed 224 people on board a passenger jet carrying Russian tourists over the Sinai peninsula.

The incident dealt a severe blow to Egypt's tourism industry still reeling from the turmoil set off by the 2011 uprising that forced veteran leader Hosni Mubarak from power.

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai, which surged following the 2013 military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Security forces have since February been conducting a major operation focused on the Sinai Peninsula, aimed at wiping out a local ISIS branch.

More than 450 suspected militants and around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed since the offensive began, the army said in October.

The Pyramids of Giza are the only surviving structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world and a major tourist draw attracting visitors from across the globe.