Egyptian authorities say 12 people, Egyptian and Mexican nationals, have been accidentally killed after police and military shot at a Mexican tourist convoy.
A “joint force from the police and armed forces” mistakenly killed the tourists, according to a statement posted on the Interior Ministry’s official Facebook page. The authorities were reportedly pursuing “terrorist elements” in the western desert, when the shootings happened at around midnight on Sunday (September 13).
Ten others are being treated for wounds, according to the statement.
The four four-wheel drives were attacked in the oasis area of the western desert.
The Mexican president has demanded a full investigation.
“A working group has been formed to examine the causes and circumstances of the incident, as well as the justification for the presence of a tourist group in a region to which access is prohibited,” the Interior Ministry announced.
México condena estos hechos en contra de nuestros ciudadanos y ha exigido al gobierno de Egipto una exhaustiva investigación de lo ocurrido.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) September 14, 2015
The Egyptian tourist minister said the group had been on an off-limits route in unlicensed vehicles, according to Reuters.
Earlier on Sunday, Twitter accounts linked to ISIL had reported that they had repelled an attack by Egyptian forces.