Gunmen opened fire on Israeli Arab tourists as they boarded a bus in Cairo on Thursday but there were no casualties, security sources said.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said the attack was directed at security forces.
The shooting took place at the Three Pyramids Hotel, on a road leading to the Giza pyramids southwest of Egypt’s capital.
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi said in a post on Facebook that 45 tourists from Umm el-Fahm, Kafr Kassem, and Jaffa were on the bus when it was attacked, and that “everyone is alive and well with no injuries.”
Egyptian authorities said 15 people who had gathered on a side street near the hotel threw homemade fireworks in the direction of security forces stationed there.
“One of the loiterers fired a home-made pellet gun in the direction of the security in front of the hotel, causing some damage to the glass façade of the hotel as well as the window of a tourist bus. No injuries occurred,” an Egyptian statement said.
Security forces apprehended one person who was hiding behind the hotel.
One gunman was arrested at the scene and security forces surrounded the other attacker in another part of Cairo, security sources said.
No groups issued any claim of responsibility for the attack.
Smashed window at a Cairo hotel as a result of the gunfire (photo credit: ARAB MEDIA).
Bilal Mahajne, deputy mayor of Umm el-Fahm, an Arab town in the north, said on Israel Radio that one of his associates had spoken to tourists who were on the bus.
“They are all safe and well, and back in the hotel in Cairo,” Mahajne said.
He added that the group was on an organized tour.
Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh was in contact with the Egyptian Embassy regarding the incident.
The attack is likely to raise questions over President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s repeated promises to stamp out terrorism in Egypt.
Egypt had said it would step up security at major tourist attractions last year after Islamist militants carried out several attacks, causing its struggling tourism industry to slump further.
In June a suicide bomber blew himself up near the ancient Karnak Temple in the southern city of Luxor, wounding three Egyptians.
A week earlier, gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead two members of the tourism police at Giza.
Tourism is a pillar of the Egyptian economy, which has been struggling to recover from political turmoil that began with the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
In one of the worst attacks, Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate has said it planted a bomb on a Russian passenger plane that crashed in the Sinai on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.
Egyptian jihadists, who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin