Egypt:Steps up security in Hurghada following deadly beach attack

The Sunny Days El Palacio hotel is seen early July 15, 2017 in Hurghada, Egypt, after two foreign women were killed and four others wounded the previous day when an assailant stabbed them at the Red Sea beach resort. (AFP photo)

The Egyptian police have stepped up security in the port of Hurghada as investigators search for motives in a high-profile attack targeting foreigners in the prestigious beach of the Red Sea city.

Police said on Saturday that the man who stabbed to death two German women and wounded four others in Hurghada a day earlier had sneaked into the hotel by swimming from a nearby shore.

Security was tight in Hurghada, one of Egypt’s most popular beach resorts for foreigners, as police patrolled streets and troops were deployed outside hotels.

Officials said the attacker, identified as 28-year-old Abdel-Rahman, a business graduate from Kafr al-Sheikh province, had confessed to sharing the ideology of Daesh, a Takfiri group operating mainly in Iraq and Syria that has also established a branch in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack in Hurghada.

There was an initial confusion about the nationality of the two women killed in the attack as local media said they were from Ukraine, the country which sends the highest number of tourists to Hurghada. However, it was revealed later that the two were both German nationals.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel offered condolences and called the attack a “cowardly crime”. Two Armenian women and a woman from the Czech Republic were also injured in the attack.

Over the past year, Egypt has been suffering from a spike in terrorist attacks targeting civilians in the mainland. Daesh’s so-called Sinai Province had mainly attacked security forces in the restive region since its inception in 2013.

The group later expanded the assaults to target members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community as well as foreigners visiting the country.

That has prompted the government to impose a state of emergency and widen a controversial crackdown, which critics say has mostly targeted dissidents.

By Staff reporter

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