Egyptian security suspects Taba bus bombing was a suicide attack

The attack marked a change in tactics by Islamists by attacking tourists instead of the Egyptian security personnel or buildings.

February 17, 2014 18:12
1 minute read.

Bus shown after explosion in Sinai, February 16 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Egyptian security forces said on Monday that a suicide bomber was probably behind the bus bombing in Sinai on Sunday that killed three South Korean tourists and the Egyptian driver, and injuring fourteen others.

The attack marked a change in tactics by Islamists by attacking tourists instead of the Egyptian security personnel or buildings.

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There is still no confirmed report of which group was behind the bombing.

"The preliminary investigation shows some tourists disembarked to get their bags. A man walked to the bus. There was an explosion when he reached the third step," Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif told AFP.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the terror attacks on Sunday in the Sinai town of Taba.

“He conveys his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Governments of Egypt and the Republic of Korea. He calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice,” said a statement released by his spokesman in New York.

Following the bombing, Korean Christians pilgrims are canceling their trips to Egypt, The Korea Times reported.

Meanwhile, officials from South Korea’s embassies in Egypt and Israel went to the site of the attack in Egypt on Monday and Seoul dispatched government officials to the site as well, according to the report.

Egypt’s State Information Service reported that Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi called for an investigation and urged Tourism Minister Hesham Zaazou to oversee it and ensure that the victims are receiving adequate medical treatment and that the bodies are being cared for properly.

Health Minister Maha El-Rabat and the Tourism Minister visited injured tourists, Ahram Online reported.

In related news, the Egyptian security forces continued operations in Sinai, destroying tunnels and homes in the Egypt-Gaza border region over the past few weeks, said military spokesman Ahmed Ali in a statement, according to a report by Daily News Egypt.

“This comes within the framework of intensive efforts exerted by the border guards to secure all of Egypt’s strategic borders to foil all plans aimed at undermining the stability and security of the society, and harming Egyptian national security,” said the statement.

Maya Shwayder contributed to this report.

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