Police in Egypt claimed to have killed as many as 40 militants in Giza and North Sinai the day after a deadly attack on a tourist bus left at least three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide killed.
A statement by the interior ministry said that the police raids had killed ’40 terrorists’ on Saturday morning as they allegedly planned to target tourist destinations, churches and military personnel.
“A group of terrorists were planning to carry out a series of aggressive attacks targeting state institutions, particularly economic ones, as well as tourism… and Christian places of worship,” BBC quoted the ministry statement.
Of the 40 militants, 30 were reportedly killed during two early morning raids in Giza, while the remaining 10 were killed in El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province. According to state news agency MENA, the suspects were killed in a gun battle. The ministry also published the photos of the bloodied bodies with blurred faces.
This came a day after militants had launched a deadly attack on a bus, killing three Vietnamese nationals near the Giza pyramids. The attack with a roadside bomb had also left at least 11 tourists injured.
Tourists have been frequently targeted by militants over the last few years, particularly after General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took control of the government through a military coup by overthrowing the elected government of Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Al-Sisi’s brutal coup had caused a largescale killings of civilians, who had gathered to protest the coup.
In 2015, militants had bombed a Russian passenger jet as it left Sharm el Sheikh, killing 224 people.