A tourist bus standing about 50 meters south of the Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt, on the Egyptian side, exploded Sunday afternoon. Israeli EMT ambulances from the nearby city of Eilat have rushed to the scene of the explosion, which was initially declared by MDA to be a mass casualty event.
Al Ahram quotes Security sources who say that 4 Korean tourists are dead and at least 14 others injured (down from an originally estimated 27 injured), of different nationalities, who were on the bus when it exploded. There were 30 tourists on the bus.
This number killed has now been updated to 5 confirmed dead, which includes the Egyptian driver,
The bus was on its way to Israel at the time, after visiting St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai.
There are conflicting reports if the tourist bus was hit by a missile or if a bomb was planted in the front of the bus. The governor of Southern Sinai Khaled Fouda said he suspects there was a bomb at the front of the bus, but he stresses he can’t be sure.
The Israeli police released a statement that there were no Israelis on the bus. The IDF said that the Egyptians are handling the rescue operation.
Egypt has been fighting Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda related terrorists in the Sinai.
Al Ahram describes a pattern of bombings and assassination attempts that has been growing since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July. Morsin is currently on trial in Egypt for espionage and assisting Islamic terrorists commit terror attacks against Egypt.
In 2004, a bomb blast at a Hilton Hotel in Taba killed 31 people.