Skip to main content

Police foil suicide bomb attack on tourist site in Egypt's Luxor

The ancient Egyptian temple of Karnak is believed to have been the target of the attack
Tourists and journalists walk past statue of pharaoh Amenhotep III in Egypt's temple city of Luxor on 23 March 2014 (AFP)

Egyptian police said Wednesday they foiled an attempted suicide bomb attack on one of the country's most popular tourist destinations in Luxor and killed two militants.

Police said one attacker detonated a bomb he was carrying and two other assailants died in a firefight close to the Karnak temple.  

A source at the interior ministry said there were no tourists were hurt.

A civilian was slightly wounded in the blast which took place at the tourist site's parking lot. Security forces immediately opened fire on two other attackers, an officer at the scene told AFP. 

"Security forces in Luxor foiled a terrorist operation.. two terrorists killed and a third was wounded," the police said in a statement.

The police kept tourists at the world-famous temple inside the site during the operation, a senior official from the Antiquities Ministry told AFP.

Militants have claimed regular bomb attacks in Egypt since the army's ouster president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and a brutal crackdown on his supporters. 

Although tourists have been largely spared from attacks although a suicide bombing last year on a tour bus in the restive Sinai Peninsula killed three South Koreans and their Egyptian driver.

The attack however comes shortly after militants from an Islamic State-linked group fired rockets at an airport used by UN peacekeepers in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula late Tuesday, an Egyptian military source told Anadolu Agency. 

“Terrorist elements fired mortar shells at Al-Goura Airport late Tuesday,” the source, requesting anonymity, said. 

No casualties or damage were reported as a result in the Sinai incident. 

The attempted attack also comes a few hours ahead of a scheduled visit for World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to Luxor to discuss a number of projects in the southern governorate. 

Kim, who was due to arrive at Luxor International Airport in the early afternoon on Wednesday, is planned to visit a youth centre, a post office and a temple along with the Egyptian minister of social welfare Ghada Wali and Governor Mohammed Badr. 

No connection between the attempted attack and the planned visit were established. 

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.