The ongoing battle between Egyptian security forces and terrorists in the Sinai region escalated on Sunday, as a tourist bus was targeted in a blast that killed four. Ahram Online reported that 14 people were injured in the attack, while three Korean tourists and the Egyptian bus driver were killed. The explosion occurred in Taba, a town on the Israel-Egyptian border. Ahram Online said it was the first time that tourists have been caught in the Egyptian conflict that started up last summer.
Terrorists, including those affiliated with Al-Qaeda, have been attacking Egyptian security forces in earnest following the military coup that ousted Islamist Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood movement, of which Morsi was a leader, has past ties to terrorism and the Egyptian government has accused them of involvement in terror. In some ways, it has been a miniature civil war in the Sinai region. But now it’s threatening more than just Egyptian security personnel.
It has been eight years since tourists were targeted in a terror attack in Egypt. This one apparently planned to make global news, with 30 tourists from a variety of countries on the bus.
The attack underscores the ongoing threat of Middle East terrorism to people around the world. Though the conflict in Egypt has been between Egyptian security forces and local terrorists thus far, Sunday’s blast proves that other nations and their people are at risk.
And Egypt’s international links are more than just tourism. As a major player in the transportation of oil from the Middle East, Egypt also has a key role in the global economy.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 17, 2014)