The Islamist militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has warned tourists to leave Egypt “before it’s too late” and threatened to attack anyone who stays in the country after a deadline of February 20.
The Sinai-based group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday, made the statement on an affiliated Twitter account.
The attack on the bus, which was travelling to Israel from St. Catherine’s Monastery, a popular tourist destination in the south Sinai, was the first assault on tourists since President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster spurred an Islamist insurgency.
“Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has successfully sacrificed one of its heroes to detonate the bus headed toward the Zionists, and this comes as part of our economic war against this regime of traitors,” the group said in a statement.
Islamist militancy has risen sharply in Egypt, including the largely lawless region adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip, since the army deposed Islamist Mursi in July, following mass protests against his rule.
Since then the army has launched a wide-scale operation in Sinai targeting Islamist militants, and security forces launched a crackdown on Islamists and Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood which authorities labelled a terrorist organisation. The Brotherhood denies any links to violence.
“With God’s will we will be watching this treacherous gang of inflitrators and we will target their economic interests in all places in order to paralyse their hands from (hurting) Muslims,” the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis statement said.
The attack marks a shift in strategy among Sinai’s militants to targeting “softer” tourist and economic targets. Egypt’s vital tourism industry has already been hit hard by three years of political turmoil and street protests.
Islamist militants launch near-daily attacks on security forces in northern Sinai, while the south, with its many Red Sea resorts, had been seen as a relatively safe tourist destination. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for several bombings, including an attempt to kill the interior minister in Cairo last year. The organization also said it was behind a missile attack on a military helicopter last month that killed five soldiers.
The bus attack revived memories of an Islamist uprising in the 1990s that often targeted tourists and took years for then-President Hosni Mubarak to crush.
In 2004, a bombing at the Sinai resort of Taba killed 34 people, including Israeli tourists.
Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was behind Mursi’s ouster, is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency soon.
Sisi had hoped a political roadmap unveiled after Mursi’s overthrow would stabilize Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the Suez Canal, a busy world shipping channel on the Sinai’s western edge.
- 13D, 360° virtual reality is ready to launch – on an adult film
- 2French Riviera declared ‘disaster zone’ after deadly flash floods
- 3Migrant crisis: Hungary poised to shut unofficial border crossings with Croatia
- 4Russian air strike hits terrorist training camp in Syria, say defence officials
- 5Refugees tell of ISIL brutality which forced them to leave Syria
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 2Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 3NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 4France claims Russian jets have struck rebel, not IS forces in Homs
- 53D, 360° virtual reality is ready to launch – on an adult film
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 10Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 11Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 12Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 13Denmark: launches anti-migrant ad campaign
- 14Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 15Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 16Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 17Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 18International news | euronews, latest international news
- 19Migrant tripped up in Hungary gets Spanish football job
- 20[Live] All the Rugby World Cup news in one place
Wires > News
- 17:35 CET West, Ukraine, hail rebel decision to postpone disputed elections
- 17:33 CET Islamic State claims suicide attacks on Yemeni government, Gulf…
- 17:29 CET Baby, maternal deaths soar in Sierra Leone on Ebola fear -…
- 17:28 CET Bosnian court jails four over recruitment of militants for Syria
- 17:27 CET Italy to begin relocating Eritrean refugees this week
- 16:54 CET Indian capital plans to help trafficking victims with training…
- 16:47 CET Spanish judge seizes passport of ex-IMF chief Rato in fraud probe
- 16:39 CET Church should shun derogatory words on gays, Vatican synod told