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3 allegedly killed in Western Desert airstrike

One engineer and two workers were reportedly killed in an airstrike in the Bahariya Oasis in the Western Desert on Wednesday, according to residents. It remains unclear who carried out the alleged airstrike.

No official statements have been released about the incident.

Two people who work in tourism in the area told Mada Masr, speaking on condition of anonymity, that an engineer named Ahmed al-Fekky was killed en route to a well in one of the oasis’s mining areas. He was traveling with three workers in a four-wheel drive when, according to the sources, a plane flew by at a low altitude, launching a rocket and hail of bullets at the vehicle. They said one worker survived as they were collecting water from the well at the time of the attack.

Both sources said that the residents found the burnt-out car and the victims’ remains in the area.

When Mada Masr contacted the official military spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai for comment on the incident, he neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying that the Interior Ministry was the authority responsible for commenting on the matter.

One social media user claiming to be a relative of Fekky published a Facebook post saying the engineer was killed in the alleged airstrike and buried in Cairo on Thursday.

In September 2015, the Egyptian military killed 12 people, including eight Mexican tourists, and injured 10 others in an airstrike in the Western Desert. The Interior Ministry issued a statement at the time admitting that an accidental attack had been carried out on vehicles in a restricted area. Security officials said that the tourist convoy endangered itself by leaving the approved track.

The Western Desert, which borders Libya, is the scene of frequent military operations.