Cairo (dpa) – Egyptian security forces opened fire by mistake on vehicles carrying Mexican tourists in the Western Desert, killing 12 people, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.
It said the troops had been hunting for “terrorist elements” in the area of Oases when they mistakenly shot at a convoy of four vehicles used by the tourists.
Ten Egyptians and Mexicans were also injured.
The ministry said it was investigating the incident.
State-run newspaper Al Ahram reported an exchange of fire between security troops and suspected terrorists in the area late on Sunday.
It said seven “terrorists” were killed in the shootout, according to an unnamed security official.
On Sunday, a group alleging to be linked to the radical Islamic State militia said it had repulsed an attack by the Egyptian army in the Western Desert.
The region is a popular tourist spot.
Egyptian security forces have been the target of militant attacks since the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi following massive street protests against his rule.
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