Egypt tourism minister doubts credibility of tourist threat

Egypt tourism minister doubts credibility of tourist threat By Lee Hayhurst

Image via ShutterstockThe Egyptian minister of tourism has dismissed as not credible a reported threat to tourists by the terrorist group responsible for the deadly attack on Sunday.

In a statement following the attack which saw three South Korean visitors killed, Hisham Zaazou expressed “deep sorrow” over the tragic incident.

But he went on to cast severe doubt over reports that the group that claimed responsibility for the attack, Jamaat Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, had issued an ultimatum to all foreign tourists to leave Egypt.

This threat was said to have been made on Twitter and set a deadline of today for all visitors to leave.

Zaazou said: “The attributed communiqué is not credible and has no grounds, as the Jamaat itself has repeatedly confirmed in all previous communiqués that it has no accounts on any social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook etc.

“The Jamaat has no official email account and does not communicate either with any official or non-official bodies

“Finally, it is worth mentioning that many well respected and trusted media forums, think tanks, journalists, travel editors, columnists and news correspondents have been sceptical of and questioned the credibility of the account and the declaration altogether.”

Despite Egypt’s recent troubles and civil unrest, to date tourists have not been targeted, something Zaazou has previously been keen to stress.

Referring to the attack on a tourist bus on Sunday which also killed the Egyptian driver and injured 14 others, he said:

“I seize this moment to offer my sincerest condolences to the people and government of South Korea as well as the families of the victims.

“I confirm that the investigations are still ongoing and that all concerned parties are keen and adamant on delivering the exact truth and facts pertaining to such a despicable act.

“We at the ministry of tourism are ensuring that all security bodies are undertaking the necessary precautionary measures to guarantee that such an incident to the extent possible will not occur again.

“The perpetuators and the guilty will be detained and prosecuted. Justice will be served. Law and order will prevail.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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