CAIRO — Egypt witnessed deadly shooting and death of two German female tourists on Friday.
Two German female tourists were stabbed to death while four other foreigners were wounded in an attack on Friday at a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada, an Egyptian security official said.
The assault came just hours after a shooting near some of Egypt’s most famous pyramids outside of Cairo killed five policemen.
The motive behind the stabbing was unclear and the Interior Ministry said the attacker at the Red Sea resort was arrested immediately.
A security official said the attacker, a man in his 20s dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans, wielded a knife and intentionally sought to attack foreigners.
“Stay away, I don’t want Egyptians,” the assailant had said in Arabic during the attack, according to the official.
Without taking any blame for what appears to be a major security breach, the Interior Ministry said the attacker had sneaked into the hotel by swimming from a nearby beach.
In the killings of the five policemen outside of Cairo, no group claimed responsibility for the attack but it bore the hallmarks of a smaller Islamic militant group known as Hasm that has been behind similar shootings in recent months.
Gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire Friday on a security vehicle patrolling a Giza village near some of Egypt’s oldest pyramids, killing five police, the Interior Ministry and officials said.
The deadly shooting heightened fears of what has become near-weekly attacks by suspected militants after a blitz attack left 23 troops dead in northern Sinai a week ago. Friday’s attack comes amid a months-long state of emergency following a series of church bombings in the spring, and threatens to deal a blow to Egypt’s struggling tourism industry and economy.
The attack took place in the village of Abusir in Badrashin, part of Greater Cairo, on a weekend in Egypt when there is little traffic in the streets. The slain policemen were part of the force tasked to guard the district of Saqqara, one of Egypt’s most popular tourist sites and host to a collection of temples, tombs and funerary complexes.
The Interior Ministry said the militants sprayed the policemen’s vehicle with machine guns as the security force was on the move to patrol the surroundings. They fled after one policeman returned gunfire, the ministry said in a statement. Earlier, officials said that the attackers were masked and that they targeted a checkpoint.
Attackers stole the weapons and radios of the victims and tried to set fire to the bodies but fled upon seeing people gathering nearby, witnesses said.
CBC Extra, a privately owned Egyptian TV network, said surveillance cameras in a gas station near the site of the attack showed the attackers disguised in police uniforms and that they stopped the police vehicle before opening fire. It wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the network’s account.