Swiss tell of beatings, rapes and beheading

 

Islamic militants beat small children with guns, raped and mutilated women, and danced for joy as they massacred tourists at the Hatshepsut temple in Luxor, Swiss survivors said in accounts published yesterday.

"They beat a small child, again and again with a rifle barrel. They were still beating the child after it was already dead," one weeping eyewitness of Monday's slaughter told the Zurich newspaper, Blick.

Some 60 people died in the onslaught, at least 33 of them Swiss.

One woman recalled how the militants brutally beat a five-year-old child next to her while dancing and yelling "Allah, Allah".

Ms Rosemarie Dousse (66), from western Switzerland, told her husband the militants mocked the screams of young women as they raped and killed them.

He told Blick of her account that around a dozen young men ran up to groups of tourists in the Valley of the Queens, forced them to kneel and began shooting. Shot in the knee and arm, his wife smeared herself with the blood of the dead lying on top of her, and lay still.

"They took away the young women and girls," she told him. "Then a short time later we heard them screaming `no, no, no'. The men raped them and then slashed their throats and stomachs while laughing and themselves yelling `no, no, no'. I will hear these screams for a long time."

Another Swiss woman who comforted survivors in a Cairo hospital told the mass-circulation newspaper of a German woman, identified only as Manuela, whose arms and legs were only slightly injured.

"But she experienced absolute horror. She had to see her father beheaded. She told us, sobbing `I saw Daddy's head roll away'," the woman said.

Blick identified one of the wounded as Ms Renate Zbinden from Berne, a 22-year-old tour guide. It said she had been shot through the throat and she needed to be fed intravenously, but her life was not in danger.

Another man was shot through the eye and needed an operation on his brain.

The attack has triggered revulsion and anger in Switzerland, which advised travellers to avoid Egypt. Bern has demanded that Cairo get to the bottom of the massacre without delay.