CAIRO: Two foreign women were killed on Friday and four others were wounded when an assailant stabbed them at an Egyptian beach resort in the Sinai Peninsula, officials said.
The governor of Red Sea province, where the resort of Hurghada is located, said two “foreign residents” of the city were killed in the attack, a cabinet statement said.
Egypt’s official Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website that two Ukrainian female tourists died in the stabbing and that four others were injured.
But Kiev’s ambassador to Cairo told the privately owned Ukrainian broadcaster Channel 112 that no Ukrainians had been killed.
Germany’s foreign ministry condemned the attack as “cowardly” in a statement and said it could not confirm whether its nationals were among the victims.
The interior ministry said in a statement that the attacker, who had swum ashore, was arrested and was being questioned.
“We don’t know his motives yet, he could be crazy or perturbed — it’s too early to tell,” a senior interior ministry official said.
In January 2016, three tourists in Hurghada were wounded in a stabbing assault by two assailants with apparent IS sympathies. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday’s stabbing.
Hurghada is one of Egypt’s most popular beach resorts, especially with Ukrainians and European tourists.
Security has been boosted in resorts around the country, as the tourism industry provides Egypt with much-needed revenues.
Policemen shot dead
Also on Friday, unknown assailants shot dead five policemen south of Cairo, in the latest of a series of attacks targeting the country’s security forces.
The ministry said three gunmen opened fire on a police car and then fled, killing a non-commissioned officer, three conscripts and a police employee.
CCTV footage posted online by the Ahram newspaper showed the three assailants pretending to fix a motorbike before they opened fire on a passing police truck then looted it.
The attack took place near Badrasheen, a town some 20 kilometres from Cairo, where militants have also targeted police in the past.
As with the beach stabbing, there has not yet been any claim of responsibility for the attack.
The killings came as police and the army said they were closing in on militants and jihadists following a spate of deadly attacks in the Nile Valley and the Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt has struggled to quell IS jihadists based in the Sinai and smaller militant groups in the mainland since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his supporters.
Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2017