Taba blast likely caused by suicide bomber, say security sources

A security source at the South Sinai Security Directorate said that the explosion that targeted a tourist bus in Taba was likely caused by a suicide bomber, state-owned Al-Ahram reported Monday.

On Sunday, a tourist bus exploded killing three Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver.

While initial reports suggested that the bus was targeted by a missile or that an explosive device was planted inside, investigations suggested Monday that the blast may have been caused by a suicide bomber after body parts were found on the scene, Al-Ahram said.

In a phone-in on Al-Hayat Channel Sunday night, Abdel Fattah Othman, deputy interior minister for media and public relations, also dismissed initial claims of an explosive device, pointing to a suicide bomber scenario.

Othman said the bus had arrived to the Taba Port where it was searched. He said footage from surveillance cameras showed two tourists and the driver leave the bus and return, but that they were followed by an unidentified fourth person back on the bus.

Othman suggested that this could be the suicide bomber.

The South Korean government strongly condemned the attack in a foreign ministry statement Monday, and said it will play its part in the international community’s fight against terrorism, state-run MENA reported.

It said it will also assist the Egyptian government in investigating the incident.

The South Korean government also warned against traveling to Sinai and the coastal areas on the Gulf of Aqaba, urging its citizens to immediately leave these areas.

The Foreign Ministry also called on Korean citizens traveling in Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to return home.

Following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi on July 3, attacks targeting police stations, military checkpoints and other government establishments have intensified in Sinai, Cairo and other governorates. However, this is the first attack that targeted civilians in the area.

On its part, the Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemned “the cowardly attack,” and offered its condolences to the families of the victims, it said in a statement Monday.

“The Muslim Brotherhood deplores all forms of violence and demand that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice,” the statement read.




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