Czech Republic requests to be informed of conclusions of Hurghada attack probe

The Czech Foreign Ministry has requested to be informed of the conclusions of the investigation into the death of one of its nationals who was hospitalized after being stabbed at a Red Sea resort several weeks ago, Michaela Lagronová, the ministry’s spokesperson, told Mada Masr on Sunday.

The woman, who remains unidentified upon the request of her family and died on July 27, was among five others who were stabbed by an Egyptian man at a Hurghada resort on July 14.

The attack took place at a Hurghada resort on July 14, when an Egyptian man stabbed and killed two German tourists and injured four others, including the Czech woman, who remains unidentified upon the request of her family and died on July 27 2017 due to complications from organ failure. The assailant was arrested by Red Sea security forces immediately after the attack.

“We have also requested to know as soon as the investigation is concluded whether it was a terrorist attack or not,” said Lagronová.

The Czech ministry also requested to view the autopsy report and to secure compensation for the family of the deceased tourist.

“We know the report is ready,” Lagronová said, adding that the Egyptian authorities have approved the decision to share the autopsy report but have yet to set a date to formally transfer the information.

These requests were made through two diplomatic notes passed between the Czech Republic and Egypt on Thursday and Friday which were discussed by Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek on the phone, according to Lagronová. Zaoralek also summoned Egyptian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Abderahman Salaheldin Abderahman to discuss the requests. On Saturday, Shoukry tweeted: “Deepest condolences to Lenka’s family & Gov. of Czech Republic. My thoughts and prayers are with you at these hard times @ZaoralekL.”

Although Lagronová said she was unable to quote the response of the Egyptian side, she did mention that the Czech ministry was told by Shoukry that the Egyptian authorities ”will look for possibilities to find some way to compensate the family but did not say that the compensation will come from the government.”

Neither Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, nor Hesham Abdel Hameed, the spokesperson for the Forensic Medical Authority, were immediately available for comment when contacted by Mada Masr.

“The body of the deceased woman should be transferred back to the Czech Republic approximately in the middle of next week,” read a statement published by the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry on July 28. An earlier statement that the Czech Health Ministry put out before the Czech national’s death asserted that her medical condition had been assessed by three Czech and four Egyptian doctors who concluded at the time that there were “no errors” in medical treatment.

The assailant who stabbed six women at the Hurghada resort “infiltrated the private beach by swimming from the neighboring public beach,” according to a statement issued by the Egyptian Interior Ministry on the day of the attack. No official announcements have been made since then. The man was then identified by security forces quoted in various media reports as 28-year-old Abdel Rahman Shams Shaaban.

Shaaban reportedly first made his way onto a public beach, where he stabbed two German women to death and injured one other, before swimming to the neighboring private beach and injuring three more tourists.

Various media outlets cited anonymous security sources as saying the assailant asserted loyalty to the Islamic State. However, the armed Islamist group has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

On July 15, the German Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned the attack and offered condolences to the deceased families. The German embassy in Cairo also asserted that travel advice to Egypt had not changed in the weeks leading up to the attack.


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