Attack Near Karnak Temple Thwarted by Egyptian Police
PHOTO: Karnak Temple in Luxor. (Photo by David Cogswell)
An explosion near the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt, pushed security questions back to the front burner in Egyptian tourism. It was the second recent incident that was too close for comfort to a major tourist site.
A statement from the Egyptian Minister of Tourism said that the attack at Karnak Temple was thwarted by police who stopped a car with three people in it that had driven into the parking lot of the tourist site.
When the car was stopped, one of its three passengers “ran out of the car and detonated a suicide device, killing himself instantly,” said the statement. “The police then surrounded the vehicle, killed one additional assailant inside the vehicle and wounded another.”
Police who apprehended the attackers sustained minor injuries, according to the statement.
The Ministry of Tourism said, “We have enhanced security measures in place at all our sites and we continue to take every possible measure to ensure that no harm comes to anyone visiting Egypt.”
A shooting of two policemen near the Pyramids at Giza last week by two gunmen on a motorcycle also raised concerns that tourist sites, which have been immune from the political violence of recent years, may no longer be in the safe zone.
Luxor, about 400 miles south of Cairo, was the site of a shooting of tourists in 1997 at Hatshepsut’s Temple. The incident turned Egyptians against the perpetrators and since that time terrorists have left the major tourist sites out of the fray.
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