Deadly blast hits tour bus in Egypt

Police officers inspect the scene of a bus blast in Giza, Egypt, 28 December 2018Image copyright

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Police officers examined the shattered vehicle

A roadside blast has killed three people – two Vietnamese tourists and a local tour guide – and injured 11 others on a bus near the Giza pyramids in Egypt, officials say.

A bomb hidden beside a wall went off as the bus carrying 14 Vietnamese tourists was passing.

Two people were critically wounded, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said.

The bus hit the device after it went off its planned route without alerting security forces, Mr Ismail added.

Those injured were 10 Vietnamese tourists and the bus driver.

There were no immediate reports of any group saying it was behind the attack, but Islamist militants have targeted tourists in the past.

Two German tourists were stabbed to death at a hotel in the popular Red Sea resort of Hurghada last year.

Tourism is a mainstay of the economy.

What do we know of Friday’s attack?

The bomb went off at about 18:15 (16:45 GMT) on Maryoutiya Street in Giza’s Haram district, the interior ministry says.

Security forces rushed to the scene in response and police are investigating.

How has tourism fared in Egypt in recent years?

It peaked in 2010, when the country saw more than 14 million visitors, but fell sharply after the turmoil of the Arab Spring the following year.

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The pyramids of Giza are a major draw

Worse was to come after militants bombed a Russian passenger jet in 2015 as it left Sharm el Sheikh, killing 224 people.

The following year just 5.3 million tourists visited, according to the World Bank.

However, the sector has since recovered and 8.3 million people visited in 2017, the Financial Times reports.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told visiting Vietnamese leaders in May that he was keen to revive Vietnamese tourism in his country, according to Egypt Today.

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