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At least 12 wounded in Egypt blast targeting tourist bus

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The pyramids in Giza, Egypt.
The pyramids in Giza, Egypt. -
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At least 12 people were injured on Sunday in a blast targeting a tourist bus near the new Egyptian museum close to the Giza Pyramids, sources have told Reuters.

The bus was carrying 28 passengers — including South African nationals, according to a security source— and most of the injuries were minor. Three passengers are, however, "being treated at the hospital as a precaution", the country's Tourism Minister Rania A. Al Mashat announced on Twitter.

A witness, Mohamed el-Mandouh, told Reuters he heard a "very loud explosion" while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast.

Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road next to a low wall with a hole in it.

The museum is due to open next year as the new home for some of the country's top antiquities on a site adjoining the world-famous Giza pyramids. It is part of an effort to boost tourism, a key source of foreign revenue for Egypt.

The sector has been recovering after tourist numbers dropped in the wake of a 2011 uprising and the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet.

There was no damage to the museum from the blast, which happened 50 metres from its outer fence and more than 400 metres from the museum building, the Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Egyptian security forces are waging a counterinsurgency campaign against Islamist militants, some with links to the so-called Islamic State, that is focussed in the north of the Sinai Peninsula. Attacks outside Sinai have been relatively rare.

In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured when a roadside bomb hit their tour bus less than 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from the Giza pyramids.