20 May 2019

Egypt explosion: Tourists on bus injured near Giza pyramids

5:55 am on 20 May 2019

An explosion targeting a tourist bus has injured at least 16 people near the Grand Egyptian Museum, next to the pyramids in Giza.

A blast hit a tourist bus near the Giza Pyramids.

A roadside bomb hit a tour bus near the Grand Egyptian Museum, injuring passengers. Photo: AP

South African tourists are among the injured. Most of those hurt suffered minor injuries, while three were treated in hospital, officials say.

A device went off close to the museum fence as the bus was passing.

It is not yet known who was behind the bombing but Islamist militants have attacked tourists in Egypt in the past.

In December, three Vietnamese tourists and a local tour guide were killed after a roadside bomb hit their bus.

A witness, Mohamed el-Mandouh, told Reuters news agency he had heard a "very loud explosion" while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast, which is close to the capital Cairo.

The blast hit the bus which was carrying 28 passengers, Egyptian Tourism Minister Rania A Al Mashat said.

Images taken after police cordoned the bus show a vehicle with windows blown out or shattered, and glass littering the aisle inside.

A private car was also damaged behind the bus.

According to state-run broadcaster Nile News TV, the bus was carrying 25 South African tourists and a security source confirmed for Reuters that South Africans had been aboard.

Seven South African tourists and 10 Egyptian civilians were injured, Nile News TV says.

The tourism minister said all of the people affected by the blast were being "fully supported in their onward travels".

The blast took place a few hundred metres away from the Grand Egyptian Museum, due to open next year. Officials confirm no damage was caused to the museum, expected to house the country's top antiquities.

The tourism industry, a lifeline to the struggling Egyptian economy, had recently started to recover

from a downturn after Russian plane was downed over the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015, with 224 people on board killed. Egypt is getting ready to host the African Cup of Nations for football (Afcon) next month.

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