The latest on Egypt attack: El-Sissi moves to boost security
6 p.m. (1600 GMT)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met with the country’s interior and prime minister following the suicide bombing earlier in the day outside the ancient temple of Karnak in Luxor.
According to a statement from the presidency, el-Sissi praised the police performance in Wednesday’s attack, which left no tourists hurt and wounded only four people, two civilians and two policemen, and called for beefing up security at tourist sites across the country.
Meanwhile, on a flight from Cairo to Luxor, Egypt’s Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy told The Associated Press that he expects the tourism industry’s slow recovery would continue, despite the latest attack.
Ramy commended the police, saying they averted a much bigger disaster.
He says Egyptian “security forces were there. It’s a very important message to everyone.”
4 p.m. (1400 GMT)
German tour operator TUI Deutschland says it has canceled all excursions to Luxor for the time being, following the suicide bombing at the city’s famed Karnak temple earlier in the day.
The attack — the second this month at or near a major tourist attraction in Egypt — has raised concerns for the country’s tourism industry.
TUI’s spokeswoman Anja Braun says further measures would depend on guidance issued by the German foreign ministry. She added that the resort Red Sea city of Hurghada has been by far the most important destination for German TUI customers.
On Wednesday morning, a suicide bomber targeted the temple of Karnak in Luxor. Police shot dead one of two suspected militants who arrived at the scene with the suicide bomber. The second was wounded and is in police custody.
No tourists were hurt and the temple was not damaged.
3 p.m. (1300 GMT)
The director of the Karnak temple in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, says the ancient monument sustained no damage from the suicide bombing earlier in the day.
Abdel-Aziz told The Associated Press that the “temple is safe and unaffected and visitors continue to arrive.”
Mohammed Othman, deputy director of the local association of tour operators, says four groups of foreign tourists visited the temple after the late Wednesday morning attack, in which four people were wounded.
He said it was a “wake up call” for the government to tighten security around touristic sites.
The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of security, said one of the two suspected militants who arrived at the site with the bomber was captured after he was wounded.
The ministry says the second man was shot dead by police.
12:30 p.m. (1030 GMT)
The governor of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, Mohammed Sayed Badr, says that no tourists were hurt in the suicide bombing outside the famed Karnak temple.
He told The Associated Press over the phone that the attack was “an attempt to break into the temple of Karnak. They didn’t make it in.”
Badr says three suspected militants carrying bags got out of a car in the temple’s parking lot. Police were immediately suspicious and ordered them to stop.
One of the three then began running, so the police fired at him and an explosive belt he was wearing blew up. A second man had a gun and started firing at the police before he was shot dead.
The governor says the third man was arrested by an undercover policeman after he was wounded in the exchange of fire. Badr says the nationalities of the three men have yet to be determined.
Noon (1000 GMT)
Egyptian officials say police killed two suspected Islamic militants in a shootout outside the ancient Karnak temple in the southern city of Luxor as a suicide bomber struck meters away from the famed tourist attraction, without killing anyone.
The Health Ministry says four people, including two policemen, were wounded in the gunbattle Wednesday.
The officials say there were only a handful of tourists and Egyptians inside the temple at the time of the late morning attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.
Luxor is home to some of Egypt’s most famous ancient temples and pharaonic tombs, including that of King Tutankhamun. The city has been hit hard by a downturn in visitors since Egypt’s 2011 uprising.