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Egypt to build memorial, compensate Mexican tourists

Egypt will build a memorial for Mexican tourists killed by a mistake in May 2015 , says Mexico's government

AFP , Tuesday 13 Sep 2016
Mexican tourists
File Photo: Four-wheel drive cars cross the sand dunes in the Egyptian western desert and the Bahariya Oasis, southwest of Cairo in picture taken May 15, 2015 (Reuters)
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Views: 2920

Egypt will build a memorial for Mexican tourists mistakenly killed in a military strike last year while a travel association will compensate their families and survivors, Mexico's government said Tuesday.

Eight tourists and four Egyptians were killed by security forces on September 13, 2015 when they came under fire during a lunch break in Egypt's vast Western Desert while on their way to the Bahariya oasis.

Survivors have told Mexican diplomats that they came under fire from a plane and helicopters.

Egypt said the tourists had entered a restricted area and were "mistakenly" killed as security forces chased jihadists.

Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement that the Egyptian Travel Agents Association has agreed to provide an "economic compensation" to the survivors and families of the dead.

The ministry did not provide a monetary figure but the association said in May that it had paid $140,000 each to the families of three of the victims after they agreed not to press legal proceedings against Egypt.

Ahmed Ibrahim, treasurer of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association, told AFP at the time that the group agreed to compensate them after an investigation found that the travel agency looking after the tourists was responsible for their deaths.

In January, Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said Egypt's tourism ministry "found that the administrative authorities and the travel agency should have had more clarity on the permit" to visit the desert.

The ministry did not indicate where the memorial for the Mexican and Egyptian victims would be built but it said that Egyptian authorities agreed to erect it "as one of the measures for reparations."

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