Middle East

Egypt attack: Three tourists stabbed at Hurghada hotel

Media captionSammie Olovvson, who was stabbed in the attack, said he thought he would die

Three foreign tourists have been stabbed by two suspected Islamic State militants who stormed into a hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

The attackers, armed with knives, were shot by police at the Bella Vista hotel after they attacked two Austrian guests and a Swede, officials say.

One assailant was killed and the other injured, officials say.

The attackers were aiming to kidnap tourists, officials told the BBC. Reports say they raised the IS flag.

Security forces are still searching for possible further attackers.

Officials earlier reported that both the attackers had been killed.

The BBC's Sally Nabil in Cairo says Hurghada remains on high alert with all roads in and out closed off.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Bella Vista Hotel is popular with foreign tourists

Egypt is battling Islamist militants based in the nearby Sinai peninsula, including an Islamic State affiliate.

That group said it downed a Russian plane which crashed in October 2015, with the loss of 224 lives.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said they were "urgently investigating" the reports from Hurghada.

He did not know whether any Britons might be affected.

Analysis: Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent

Sadly for Egypt, this is only the latest incident in a growing list of sporadic terrorist attacks carried out by jihadist fanatics, aimed at harming the government and driving away much-needed foreign investment and tourism.

The most potent threat emanates from the Egyptian affiliate of the so-called Islamic State, based in the northern Sinai Peninsula across the Red Sea from where Friday's hotel attack took place.

But ever since bombers attacked the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005, the authorities have gone to great lengths to secure the country's Red Sea resorts.

Until last October's downing of a Russian passenger plane - which Russia and Britain believe was caused by a bomb - the coastal resorts had remained largely free from terrorism for years.

Egypt was able to deal swiftly and effectively with this latest attack in Hurghada, but the authorities will want to establish where it was launched from and what further precautions they now need to take.

An attack on a bus at a hotel near the Giza pyramids on Thursday was claimed by IS, which said it was targeting "a tourist bus carrying Jews".

Egyptian officials said no-one was hurt in the attack, near Cairo. Arab Israeli tourists were staying at the hotel, reports said.

After the loss of the Russian plane in October, the UK and other European countries halted flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, citing security fears.

Russia also stopped all flights to Egypt.

The departures board on Hurghada airport's website shows foreign tourists travelling to the resort this week have come from Turkey, Germany, Sweden and the UK.

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