Terror in Egypt: Jihadi gunmen waving black flag of ISIS are shot dead before they could detonate suicide vest after storming hotel and opening fire on European tourists in Red Sea resort
- The incident happened at the Bella Vista Resort in the city of Hurghada
- Two jihadis arrived at the hotel by sea and began attacking tourists
- Three European tourists at the hotel needed treatment for their injuries
- Egyptian security forces shot dead one and seriously injured the second
Jihadis armed with a gun, knives and a suicide belt have wounded three tourists at the entrance of a hotel in an Egyptian Red Sea resort.
Security forces said the attackers arrived by sea to launch the onslaught on the beachside Bella Vista Hotel, in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
They claimed to have killed an attacker wearing a suicide bomb, and have seriously wounded a second armed with a knife.
The two attackers entered the hotel’s outdoor restaurant at the front of the building and attacked the tourists.
The attackers were reportedly carrying black flags with the shahada, the Muslim testament of faith, written it white, commonly used by ISIS.
Egyptian authorities today said the dead attacker was a 21-year-old student from the Cairo neighbourhood of Giza as video emerged of his accomplice being interrogated in the aftermath.
The video, which was posted to Facebook and picked up by Egyptian media allegedly shows the wounded attacker being questioned while lying bloody and bandaged on the floor.
He is filmed wearing only his boxers and moaning in pain as men with medical gloves slap his face and attempt to give him CPR – despite his being conscious.
‘Where are you from?’, they ask. ‘What’s your name, your name!?’
Throughout the man appears confused as he tries to answer their questions.
‘How old are you? 31? 30?’ one man asks.
All three wounded tourists, reportedly two Austrians and a Swede, were taken to hospital, where one was treated and discharged, the security statement said.
Security officials had initially said the attackers wounded two tourists, a Dane and a German, but such discrepancies are common in the immediate aftermath of terror attacks.
A member of the hotel’s management staff who witnessed the incident told AP that said the attackers sneaked into the Bella Vista from a hotel next door, accessing the facility from the beach.
The slain attacker, he said, appeared to want to take a female tourist hostage, dragging her into the hotel’s lobby with his knife held against her neck when he was shot dead by a policeman.
The attack came just hours after the local affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack a day earlier on a hotel in Cairo near the Giza Pyramids. No one was hurt in the Thursday attack.
British couple Kyle Hadden, 24, and Mark Higgins, 43, arrived in Hurghada just hours before the attack.
‘We were just walking along the beach after dropping our bags off in the room when we heard five gunshots,’ Mr Hadden told MailOnline.
‘We thought they were fireworks, but then got back to our hotel and had a Facebook message from a friend asking if we were ok.’
The couple are staying in the hotel next to the Bella Vista Resort, just a few minutes away.
‘When we looked outside we saw a lot of police cars going past. Hotel staff told us the hotel [Bella Vista] was about 30 minutes away – but I can see it from here – it’s the next one along,’ he said.
‘The only updates we’re getting is from my mum who’s worried sick,’ he told MailOnline from his hotel.
Mr Hadden, who works for the ambulance service said he had reported their concerns to holiday company Thomas Cook before they traveled and had asked to go to Turkey instead because of safety concerns.
‘We spoke to Thomas Cook before we came saying we didn’t want to go. They said it would be fine to travel and that everything would be fine.’
Mark Nolan, 36, arrived back from the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada on Tuesday, but told MailOnline he and his family spent the entire time on the resort as it was too dangerous to leave.
‘We booked the trip just a few days before the Russian plane bombing, but when I contacted First Choice to cancel – they wouldn’t listen and wanted to charge me 35 per cent,’ said Mr Nolan, an electrician from London.
Once there, Mark, father of two daughters aged three and two said he felt unsafe and that the guests they spoke to were also only there because they couldn’t get their money back.
‘At the airport the security is quite good but then you’re travelling on these empty desert roads.
Mr Nolan said there were police road blocks in front of his resort, which near the Bella Vista Hotel.
‘There were metal detectors at the door – but everybody just walked round them.
‘You can’t leave the resort and there are no excursions – you wouldn’t dare get on a bus to go and see the pyramids, which is why we went to Egypt in the first place.’
An official statement from the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior said the attack was carried out by two individuals armed with an ‘air gun and knives’.
The statement added that one of the attackers had been killed and the second was in custody.
Egypt has been battling an insurgency by Islamic militants led by the Islamic State’s affiliate.
The insurgency has been focused in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula but has frequently spilled over into the mainland since the ousting in 2013 of the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
The Hurghada attack is a dangerous precedent since Egypt’s Red Sea resorts have done better than elsewhere in the country in withering the slump suffered by the vital tourism sector in the five years of turmoil since a popular uprising toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Thursday’s attack was also significant in that it targeted a hotel in Cairo, a heavily policed city, at a time when security appeared to improve in recent months after a series of disruptive bomb attacks.
Egypt’s tourist industry was decimated after the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai in October.
The local Islamic State affiliate has claimed it downed the aircraft with a bomb. All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, mostly Russian tourists.
The Friday evening attack came just hours after the local affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack a day earlier on a hotel in Cairo near the Giza Pyramids. No one was hurt in the Thursday attack.