Egypt's Azhar sends condolences to victims of tourist convoy attack

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Sep 2015

Al-Azhar expressed 'sincere and honest' condolences

Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb
Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, Al-Azhar's Grand Imam (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque, the highest seat of Sunni Islam, said it mourns the 12 Egyptian and Mexican members of a tourist convoy who were mistakenly killed by Egyptian forces on Sunday.

Al-Azhar extended their "sincere and honest condolences to the government and people of Mexico and the families of Mexican and Egyptian victims" which it said were killed as "security forces chased terrorists in a remote area in the western desert" in a press release on Tuesday.

Twelve people were killed and 10 others injured when army and police forces attacked four 4x4 vehicles near the Bahariya oasis, a tourist attraction in the western desert.

The Egyptian interior ministry had said on Monday that "a joint police and army force were chasing terrorist elements in the Western Desert area of Al-Wahat and they engaged by mistake with four four-wheel drives belonging to Mexican tourists who were present in a restricted area"

Egyptian prosecutors and judicial sources said seven of those killed in the incident were Mexican and four Egyptian, and Mexico's president Enrique Pena Nieto confirmed on Monday two Mexicans had died.

The US State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Monday the US embassy in Cairo is making "appropriate inquiries" with Egyptian police concerning reports that a US citizen was among those wounded in the accident. 

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