Egypt,Cairo, 8 jan: Today, Motorcycle-borne masked gunmen opened fire on a tourist bus of Arab-Israeli citizens and a hotel close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt during a rally of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, but the tourists escaped unhurt. The attack occurred on Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated today, and caused minor damage to the vehicle and the hotel’s façade. There were no casualties in the attack, and two gunmen were arrested soon afterwards.
The passengers included a group of Israeli Arabs. “The first thing they fired was flares, and then they started firing at the bus. Later they started firing birdshot at the hotel and tried to throw Molotov cocktails at the bus,” said Jaber Jabarin, an Arab Israeli citizen who was staying at the hotel and witnessed the attack.
Egypt has been battling a jihadist insurgency since current President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi came to power after the military overthrew his predecessor, President Mohammed Morsi, in July 2013. Militants, largely based in the Sinai Peninsula, have killed hundreds of security personnel and civilians, set off bombs in the capital and attacked Western targets.
In June, gunmen shot dead two police officers a few hundred metres from the pyramids, Egypt’s most visible tourist attraction. An affiliate with the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group also claimed responsibility for a bomb on a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on the aircraft. However, Egypt said it found no evidence of terrorism in connection with the incident.