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Egypt's Hurghada stabbing of tourists incident 'didn't take longer than 4 minutes': Hotel

It is still unclear what motivated the two attackers to stab three European tourists inside the Bella Vista hotel on the Red Sea; authorities have ruled out terror as a reason

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Jan 2016
Bella Vista Hotel
Egyptian police and security stand guard in front of the Bella Vista Hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada on January 9, 2016 (AFP)
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A stabbing at a hotel in Egypt's Hurghada on Friday which injured three tourists “didn't take more than four minutes,” Bella Vista hotel's administration said on Saturday, playing down the incident and blaming media outlets for reporting otherwise.

"Two drugged young men attacked one of our hotel restaurants,” read the statement, posted on the hotel's Facebook page.

The attackers carried a "fake gun" and "knives," and one attacker "used his knife trying to stab some of our guests,” the statement added, repeating the same story released by the interior ministry on Friday following the attack.

"Our security and the hotel police man [sic] dealt immediately within seconds with the 2 attackers and shot them down."

One of the guests had left hospital two hours after the attack and the other two were still recovering, Bella Vista said.

The hotel is located in the busy downtown area of Hurghada, a popular resort town on the Red Sea.

The hotel's Saturday account came amid conflicting media and official reports about the details of the incident, with some media outlets reporting the assailants carried firearms and used them at the hotel. It was also reported that one of them wore an explosive belt.

"Any other rumors or news more than the above is nonsense and crap," the hotel statement added. "Most probably is to make propaganda that will affect the tourism in Egypt badly [sic], and that was the main aim."

On Saturday, Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou told the MENA state news agency that three foreign tourists were stabbed in the attack and sustained “minor injuries". Zaazou added that "there was no terrorist organisation behind the attack."

Khaled Megahed, health ministry spokesperson, had confirmed to Ahram Online on Friday that two Swedish tourists and one Austrian were stabbed.

A police statement released on Friday said that two Austrians and one Swede were injured in the attack, but gave no further details on the motives of the attackers. 

The attack comes two months after Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a North Sinai based Islamist militant group, claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian plane over Sinai, killing all 224 passengers on board. Egyptian authorities have not issued a final report on the causes of the downing of the Russian airliner.

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