Egyptian Military Shoots Mexican Tourists by Mistake

Faye Higbee

Remember when we reminded you that Mohammad looks a lot like Julio? The Egyptian military  opened fire on a convoy of mostly  Mexican tourists in the western desert, killing 12 and wounding 10 in a case of mistaken identity.

“The incident resulted in the death of 12 Mexicans and Egyptians and the injury of 10 others who have been transferred to hospitals.” Egyptian Interior Ministry Statement

egyptian military

Egyptian security forces – Twitter Photo

Mistaken identity

Egyptian Security forces were searching for a group of militants in the desert when they ran across a convoy of tourists, many of whom were Mexicans. The convoy consisted of four – 4 wheel drive vehicles, and according to Egypt was in an “off limits area.” The government is investigating the reason for their location.

The vehicles used by the tourist company were similar to the ones used by terrorists in Egypt. That nation has been fighting an increasing insurgency. ISIS and other militants have been attacking Egypt in that region for some time, and recently have begun attacking foreign interests. Oddly, the Islamic State mentioned that they had repelled an attack on Sunday afternoon in that area.

At least 2 of the 12 killed were Mexican citizens, which was confirmed by Mexico’s Foreign Ministry. Authorities have interviewed at least 5 of the survivors thus far at Hospital Dar-el-Fouad  in Cairo.

Yahoo News wrote: The group of 22 had parked their four 4×4 vehicles off-road on Sunday for a barbecue near the Bahariya oasis, a tourist site in the western desert, when army aircraft suddenly began shelling them from above, security sources said. As members of the tourist convoy tried to flee, additional security forces on the ground fired on them.

In a restricted area

Survivors claimed that the convoy was “bombarded” from helicopters and planes as they stopped for a break.

“The area is a restricted area, and the company made a mistake by taking the tourists to that area without a permit. They must obtain a permit before going there.” Elhamy Elzayat, Egyptian Tourism Federation

Mexican authorities demanded a thorough investigation.

[Mexico condemns these acts against our citizens and to the Government of Egypt has called for a thorough investigation of what happened.]

[In a tragic incident in Egypt, Mexican tourists were attacked. I deeply regret that nationals lost their lives.]

[The Ambassador of Mexico in Egypt is supporting the wounded hospitalized.]

[I have indicated to the @SRE_MX, increase our diplomatic personnel in that country, to assist the victims and their families.]