By Liam Stack / New York Times
Egyptian security forces opened fire on a caravan of tourist vehicles in the country’s Western Desert late Sunday night, killing at least 12 people visiting from Mexico and injuring 10 others, among them Mexican tourists and their Egyptian tour guides, officials said.
The tourists were mistakenly killed by a “joint force from the police and armed forces” who were pursuing “terrorist elements” in an area of the desert, according to a brief statement posted to the official Facebook page of Egypt’s Ministry of Interior. The episode happened around midnight, security officials said.
The security forces said that they had believed that the vehicles were being used to transport terrorists. The statement said the group had been driving in a restricted area where unauthorized access is banned.
“A working group has been formed to examine the causes and circumstances of the incident as well as the justification for the presence of a tourist group in a region to which access is prohibited,” the ministry said.