Egypt probe slams travel agency over tourist killings: Mexico

Egypt probe slams travel agency over tourist killings: Mexico
Paramedics hold Mexican tourists as they are lowered from a plane after their arrival in Mexico City.
PHOTO: Reuters

Egyptian probe into a erroneous military attack which killed eight Mexican tourists has criticised the travel agency for taking the group to a dangerous area, Mexico's top diplomat has said.

The tourists and four Egyptians were killed when they came under fire from the air by the Egyptian security forces during a lunch break on their way to the Bahariya Oasis in the vast Western Desert. Another 10 people were wounded.

Survivors say the attack was staged by a plane and a helicopter, prompting Cairo to open an investigation.

Speaking late on Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said the Egyptian tourism ministry "found that the administrative authorities and the travel agency should have had more clarity on the permit, and in that sense would eventually be responsible".

She said Egypt had informed the Mexican government that the investigation was "nearing completion".

So far, the Egyptian government has remained tight-lipped about the deadly event that outraged Mexico, saying only that the tourists had entered a restricted area in the Western Desert and were "mistakenly" killed as security forces chased Islamist extremists.

Six other tourists who suffered shrapnel wounds, burns, fractures and respiratory ailments in the attack, were repatriated to Mexico days later.

Cairo has promised a full and "transparent" inquiry, although media in Egypt have been banned from publishing any details on the incident or the investigation.

 

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