A worker closes a gate at the border crossing between Israel and Egypt's Sinai, near the Red Sea resort of Eilat yesterday.
CAIRO: A bomb tore through a bus carrying South Korean sightseers near an Egyptian border crossing with Israel yesterday, killing three tourists and the Egyptian driver, a senior official said.
It was the first attack on tourists since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi by the army in July sparked civil unrest and a spate of attacks across the country that have mainly targeted security forces.
The bomb exploded in the front part of the bus at the Taba border crossing with Israel in south Sinai, the interior ministry said.
South Sinai governor Khaled Fouda said three of the dead were South Koreans, along with the Egyptian driver.
The South Korean foreign ministry confirmed the death of two of its nationals, saying they were members of a Christian church on tour.
A doctor who had been waiting for a bus nearby witnessed the blast.
“There were body parts and corpses. I saw the corpse of a man who appeared to be Korean, with a leg missing,” said Ahmed Ali, who runs a clinic in a neighbouring resort.
A health ministry spokesman said 15 were wounded in the attack, and were in stable condition in hospital.
The explosion blew off the front of the yellow bus and tore out parts of the roof.
The interior ministry said the tourists had set off from Cairo and were waiting at the crossing to enter Israel when the explosion happened.
“Terrorism has no religion. The police and the army are working to eliminate it,” Fouda said.
A spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, which is responsible for border security, said the Taba crossing had been closed in the wake of the blast.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.