Czech Ambassador: Egyptian authorities delay Hurghada attack results for fear of dissuading tourists

Egyptian authorities are drawing out an investigation into a knife attack in Hurghada that resulted in the deaths of three tourists, for fear of negatively affecting tourism, Czech Ambassador to Egypt Veronika Kuchynová Šmigolová told the publically owned Radio Prague on August 30.

Although Šmigolová noted Egypt has been “extremely helpful and cooperative” during the investigation, she added that it has not been confirmed whether or not the attack was linked to a wider terrorist organization or was the result of an individual acting alone.

Negotiations are ongoing concerning compensations for the families of the victims of the attack, which took place at a Hurghada resort on July 14, when an Egyptian man stabbed and killed two German tourists and injured four others, including a Czech woman, who remains unidentified at the request of her family, and died later from organ failure as a result of her injuries.

The assailant, who was identified by security forces, according to various media reports, as 28-year-old Abdel Rahman Shams Shaaban, swam to the private resort from a nearby public beach. He was arrested by Red Sea security forces immediately after the attack, and was committed to a psychiatric facility for a period of 45 days on August 7 on the orders of State Security prosecution, according to a statement by the defendant’s lawyer.

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

An Egyptian government official told Reuters on Tuesday that tourism revenues jumped by 170 percent in the first seven months of 2017, and that the number of tourists increased by 54 percent, with large numbers coming from Germany and the Ukraine.

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