Last updated: 11:23 PM ET, Sun September 13 2015

Egyptian Authorities Accidentally Slay 12 Tourists and Injure 10

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | September 13, 2015

Egyptian Authorities Accidentally Slay 12 Tourists and Injure 10

Photo by David Cogswell

In a tragic case of mistaken identity, Egyptian police and armed forces opened fire on a group of cars filled with tourists traveling in the country’s western desert, killing 12 and injuring 10, according to the Associated Press.

The Egyptian Interior ministry said via the AP that the armed authorities were “pursuing terrorist elements” in the desert when they sprayed gunfire into four cars containing Mexican tourists. Victims were both Mexican and Egyptian, the ministry pointed out to the AP.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry confirmed to the AP that two of the slain tourists are from Mexico, but did not give further details regarding deaths or injuries.

Mexico's ministry told the AP that consular representatives are at the el Hospital Dar-el-Fouad on the suburban edge of Cairo to find out what happened, interviewing five survivors. Details of their narrative have not been released.

The timing of this incident is particularly unfortunate for the Egyptian tourism industry, as the country has just re-kindled a relationship with a major New York City-based advertising firm, and is planning a massive three-year worldwide public relations campaign. The aim for the $68 million deal is to revitalized Egypt’s image as a tourist destination after years of violence and bloodshed.

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