Two German tourists stabbed to death on Egyptian beach
Knifeman stabs women in chest then swims to another beach to continue attack
Police officers inspect the scene of a terrorist attack on a security checkpoint at al-Badrashein town, Egypt. Photograph: Mohamed Asad/EPA
An Egyptian man stabbed two German tourists to death and wounded four other foreigners at a popular seaside vacation spot on Friday, officials and witnesses said.
The knifeman killed the two German women and wounded two other tourists at the Zahabia hotel in Hurghada, and then swam to a neighbouring beach to attack at least two more people at the Sunny Days El Palacio resort before he was arrested, officials and security sources said.
“He had a knife with him and stabbed each of them three times in the chest. They died on the beach,” the security manager at El Palacio hotel, Saud Abdelaziz, told Reuters.
“He jumped a wall between the hotels and swam to the other beach.”
Mr Abdelaziz said two of the injured were Czech and two Armenian. They were being treated at a local hospital. The Czech foreign ministry tweeted that one Czech woman sustained a minor leg injury.
The attacker’s motive was still under investigation, the interior ministry said.
Egypt is fighting Islamist insurgents in the Sinai Peninsula, where they mainly target security forces, but militants have also attacked tourism targets as well as Coptic Christians and churches.
Hurghada, some 400km south of the capital Cairo is one of Egypt’s most popular vacation spots on the Red Sea.
Security and medical sources had earlier reported the two women killed were Ukrainians, but Maj Gen Mohamed El-Hamzawi, security manager of Red Sea province, said they had been identified as Germans.
In January 2016, two assailants armed with a gun, a knife and a suicide belt landed on the beach of a hotel in Hurghada, wounding two foreign tourists.
Friday’s attack came on a day that five policemen were killed by gunmen on a motorbike who ambushed their car just south of Cairo.
Three gunmen on a motorbike attacked police in al-Badrasheen area of Giza province, 30km south of the capital, killing two officers and three conscripts, the the state-run Mena news agency said, citing a security source.
“A police officer who was near the site of the attack exchanged fire with the assailants forcing them to flee,” the ministry statement said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egyptian security forces have been battling the local affiliate of Islamic State in the northern Sinai area and attacks have spread to other parts of Egypt.
Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013 in the Sinai Peninsula. At least 23 soldiers were killed last week when suicide car bombs hit two checkpoints in the region in an attack claimed by Islamic State. It was one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces in years.
Islamic State has also intensified attacks in other areas, often targeting Coptic Christians. About 100 Copts have been killed since December. In May gunmen assault on a group of Copts in a bus travelling to a monastery, killing 29 people and two bombings of churches killed more than 40 people a month earlier.
Church sources on Thursday said Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians and the Egyptian Catholic church have been told by church leaders to cancel all events, camps and activities outside churches in July because of a security threat.