Mexico leader 'outraged' as eight citizens dead in Egypt

AFP , Wednesday 16 Sep 2015

President Enrique
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto sings the national anthem after he shouted the "Cry of Independence" as Mexico marks the 205th anniversary of the day rebel priest Manuel Hidalgo set it on the path to independence, in Mexico City September 15, 2015 (Reuters)

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto expressed his nation's "outrage" to his Egyptian counterpart on Tuesday after eight Mexican tourists were confirmed dead following a mistaken Egyptian military strike.

Pena Nieto received a phone call from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who expressed his "most sincere condolences" over the "tragic incident," the Mexican leader's office said in a statement.

"President Pena Nieto expressed his deep dismay and sadness over the death of our citizens, as well as the pain and outrage that these unprecedented events have caused within Mexican society," the statement said.

The Mexican leader reiterated his call for an exhaustive and swift investigation into what happened last Sunday.

Egyptian authorities said security forces mistakenly killed a total of 12 people whose convoy had entered a restricted area of the desert while security forces chased jihadists.

Survivors told Mexican diplomats that they were bombed by an airplane and helicopters.

The Mexican government, which had previously confirmed the deaths of two citizens, said six more who had been unaccounted for were confirmed dead on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry said Mexican diplomats "had access to the remains of victims of the attack and were able to confirm that they are those of the six Mexicans who were part of the group of tourists."

Six other Mexicans wounded in the attack remain in stable condition at Al-Fouad Hospital.

Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu flew to Cairo with families of the victims to personally seek answers from Egyptian officials.

The foreign ministry said relatives of four of the dead were aboard Ruiz Massieu's plane. Families of the two other identified people were notified by the ministry.

Ruiz Massieu "was able to personally inform them and offer her sincere condolences," her ministry said in a statement.

"Foreign Minister Ruiz Massieu lamented the loss of lives in an unjustified attack and reiterated that the priority of the Mexican government was to protect its citizens."

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