Six foreign tourists have been stabbed by a knifeman at an Egyptian beach resort – the interior minister confirmed the attack on a beach in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada.
The assailant has been arrested and is being questioned to determine his motives, according to a statement from the ministry. The attacker’s motives are as-yet unclear and there is no official word on whether or not this is a terrorist attack. It is believed the victims are all female.
Around 231,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2016 and most visits are trouble-free. However, holidaymakers will no doubt be questioning how safe Egypt is after the incident which has striking similarities to the attack the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia back in June 2015.
Thomas Cook fly to the ‘luxury resort town’ and describe it on their website as having, “shallow white sand beaches perfect for paddling”.
They told Express.co.uk: “Thomas Cook is aware of a knife attack that has taken place on the beach in Hurghada in Egypt. We are working with our team on the ground to gather further information. At this stage there is no indication that any British tourists are involved.”
Frank Brehany, a travel expert, told Express.co.uk: “If reports are correct, then it only serves to continue to confirm concern about safety on the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt generally.
“There are concerns about security in this region and whilst there are those who call for the early return of tourism, regrettably I am not one of them.
“The people of Egypt need their government to act on all aspects of security; holidaymakers need to hear, read and see solid measures in place before the return of Tourism.”
What is the terror threat in Egypt?
The government website’s foreign travel advice states terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt.
Holidaymakers and British nationals are warned to vigilant at all times, avoid crowded places and follow the advice of the Egyptian authorities and the travel company, if you have one.
It states there have been threats to western nationals, institutions, and businesses posted on websites and social media.
The main threat to foreigners is from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai.
President Sisi announced a 3-month state of emergency on 9 April after an explosion killed 44 people, for which Daesh claimed responsibility.
Where has the incident happened?
The stabbing reportedly happened at the beach resort town of Hurghada – stretching some 40km along Egypt’s Red Sea coast.
According to travel sites the picture-perfect resort is renowned for scuba diving, and has numerous dive shops and schools in its modern Sekalla district.
Hurghada’s long stretch of sandy beach is lined with resort hotels and welcomes British tourists all year round.
Are there any other risks flying to Egypt?
The FCO claim there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation and the British government has implemented additional security measures in several countries, including Egypt.
Direct flights continue to depart to the UK from Egypt – except to and from Sharm el Sheikh.
As a precautionary measure, the FCO are advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. On 31 October 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai.
News of the stabbing comes after the state-run news agency MENA and the Interior Ministry today claimed five Egyptian policemen were killed by gunmen at an Egyptian security checkpoint 20 miles south of Cairo.