Giza pyramids blast kills four, as Egypt prime minister attempts to deflect blame

Giza pyramids blast kills four, as Egypt prime minister attempts to deflect blame
A bombing near Giza's pyramids has killed three tourists and a tour guide. Egypt's prime minister has claimed the bus driver is to blame for diverting from his original route.
3 min read
29 December, 2018

Egypt - Giza bus bombing

At least three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide have been killed in a bombing close to Giza's pyramids on Friday, with the country's officials attempting to minimise the damage to Egypt's fragile tourism industry.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly visited the injured at a Cairo hospital and announced that the tour guide had died from his wounds.   

He warned media and Egyptians to avoid "amplifying" the incident, claiming "no country in the world can guarantee that its 100 percent safe", despite reports of widespread militancy in the country.

"It's possible at times that an individual incident takes place here or there," he told journalists.

"We have to know that it's possible that it would be repeated in the future."

Madbouli also tried to deflect blame from the security services, claiming the bus made a detour from a planned route which led to it being targeted.

"The bus deviated from the route secured by the security forces," Madbouly said according to the Extra News channel.

"We have been in contact with the embassy of Vietnam to contain the impact of the incident, and what is important now is to take care of the injured."

The owner of the tour company also claimed the bus deviated from a planned route, but this was denied by the driver who was being treated for his wounds at the hospital.

The roadside bomb targeted the bus as it travelled close to the world famous landmark outside Cairo, officials said, with 11 other tourists from Vietnam and an Egyptian bus driver wounded in the blast, AFP reported.

The homemade bomb was placed near a wall along the Mariyutiya Street in al-Haram district near the Giza Pyramids, at statement said, at around 6:15pm.

Police and army were quickly deployed to the site and cordoned off the area, around 4km from the pyramids, with no group claiming responsibility for the blast, although the Islamic State group and other extremist groups have targeted tourists in the past.

The latest blast is the first targeting foreign tourists in over a year, and a further blow for the country's fragile tourism industry which has been in sharp decline since the 2011 revolution and a subsequent coup.

Militancy has become widespread, particularly in the Sinai where an Islamic State group are active with the Egyptian military launching an offensive on the area earlier this year.

A bombing of a Russia charter plane over the Suez in 2015 killed 224 passengers and crew, which was claimed by IS.

Vietnam has condemned Friday's attack and called on Cairo to find those responsible.

"Vietnam is extremely angered by and strongly condemns this act of terrorism that killed and injured innocent Vietnamese people," Le Thi Thu Hang, foreign ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement.

"Vietnam requests that Egypt promptly launch an investigation into the case and track down those responsible."