CAIRO, May 19 (Reuters) – An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 12 people on Sunday, mostly South African tourists, near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt, two security sources said.
A third security source said the bus was carrying 25 South African tourists from the airport to the pyramids area, and that four Egyptians in a nearby car were also injured by broken glass.
Security and judicial sources said a rudimentary device containing nails and pieces of metal had been detonated remotely on the perimeter of the Grand Egyptian Museum, not far from the site of a roadside blast that hit another tourist bus in December.
Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road next to a low wall with a hole in it.
One witness told Reuters he heard a “very loud explosion” while sitting in traffic.
South Africa’s foreign ministry said staff from its embassy in Egypt were visiting hospitals to check on the reported injuries.
The museum is due to open next year as the new home for some of the country’s top antiquities on a site adjoining the world-famous Giza pyramids. It is part of an effort to boost tourism, a key source of foreign revenue for Egypt.
The sector has been recovering after tourist numbers dropped in the wake of a 2011 uprising and the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet.
There was no damage to the museum from the blast, which happened 50 metres from its outer fence and more than 400 metres from the museum building, the Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Egyptian security forces are waging a counter insurgency campaign against Islamist militants, some with links to Islamic State, that is focussed in the north of the Sinai Peninsula.
Attacks outside Sinai have become relatively rare, though there have been several security incidents in recent months in Giza, across the Nile from central Cairo.
In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured when a roadside bomb hit their tour bus less than 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from the Giza pyramids. (Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Haithem Ahmed and Mostafa Salem; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Mark Potter) DM
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*… Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.