World / Africa

Eight Mexicans died in Egypt tourist convoy bombing

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-09-16 09:03

MEXICO CITY - Eight Mexicans were killed in an apparently mistaken aerial bombing of a tourist convoy by Egypt's army on Sunday, a Mexican official said, matching the fatality estimates given by security sources in Egypt and a relative of two of the victims.

Mexico's government had, prior to the official's comments Tuesday, confirmed the death of only two Mexicans in the incident.

The attack killed a total of 12 people and wounded 10.

Mexican officials are now studying the remains of six victims who had been unaccounted for, said Reyna Torres, who heads the Mexican foreign ministry's department for the protection of nationals abroad.

Asked if the toll of Mexicans killed had now risen to eight, Torres told local radio: "That is the figure we have now."

Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu is traveling to Cairo to bring the survivors and remains of the victims back to Mexico.

Survivors say their group was bombed from a plane and helicopters, an attack the Egyptian government says was an error as its army hunted militants in the desert. As the tourists tried to flee, forces on the ground fired on them, Egyptian security sources said.

The group of 22 had parked their four 4x4 vehicles off-road on Sunday for a barbecue near the Bahariya oasis, a tourist site in the western desert, when army aircraft suddenly began shelling them from above, security sources in Egypt said.

Egypt is battling an insurgency that has gained pace after the military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The insurgency, mounted by Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate, has killed hundreds of soldiers and police and has started to attack Western targets.

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