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Thursday, 7 January 2016
Gunmen open fire on tourist bus outside Cairo hotel
No casualties reported in attack on a road leading to the pyramids in the Egyptian capital.
Gunmen on a motorcycle have attacked a hotel in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, as tourists were boarding a bus parked outside the building, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, adding that no one was hurt.
Thursday's attack took place outside the Three Pyramids Hotel which is situated on a road leading to the famous Giza pyramids, the ministry said in a statement carried by Associated Press news agency.
A suspect was arrested, who was part of a group of about 15 people who threw flares at the hotel's security post, the statement said. It added that the hotel's facade and the bus were damaged in the attack.
Police were still searching for the rest of the group, the statement said. It did not identify the arrested suspect.
"The first thing they fired was flares, and then they started firing at the bus. Later they started firing birdshot at the hotel and tried to throw Molotov cocktails at the bus," said Jaber Jabarin, an Arab Israeli citizen who was staying at the hotel and witnessed the attack.
The motive for the attack was unclear and no one immediately claimed responsibility for it.
In Jerusalem, Alon Lavi, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, said the bus that was hit on Thursday was in use by a group of visiting Arab Israelis but that no one was inside the bus at the time of the incident and that no Israelis were hurt.
Tourism is a pillar of the Egyptian economy which has been struggling to recover from political turmoil triggered by the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt declared it would step up security at major tourist attractions last year after several attacks that caused its already struggling tourism industry to slump further.
In June, two policemen were shot dead close to the pyramids.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who took power after ousting the country's first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, has declared an all-out war on armed groups.