The pull of Egypt’s incomparable landmarks and the horror of its political unrest, and the resulting strife, came into direct conflict today when 12 tourists were killed and 10 were wounded by Egyptian security forces, after they were mistaken for militants who the security forces had been pursuing.
The tourists were, according to the Egyptian Interior Ministry by way of the BBC, located in a restricted part of the Wahat section of the western dessert when they stopped for a barbecue, though there are conflicting reports on if that is actually the case.
Per the report:
The head of the Egyptian Union of Tour Guides, Hassan El Nahla, posted online what appeared to be an itinerary sent to tourism police.
He told the BBC the group had a police escort and travelled through several checkpoints before coming under fire.
The violence, which was categorized as an “aerial assault” by survivors, reportedly included attacks from helicopters and planes.
According to the Mexican Foreign Ministry, two of the dead were Mexican tourists, though other reports indicate a higher number than that.
Unsurprisingly, the Mexican government condemned the attack, and the Egyptian government offered its apologies in a phone call while offering assurances that the wounded are being treated, though that’s surely little comfort to the families of those who were lost in a tragedy that seems to still have a lot of unanswered questions.