CAIRO: A construction firm bus driver shot dead six workers and wounded 16 others as he sprayed them with gunfire on their vehicle before surrendering, police and company officials said.
A security official said that the driver was taking the employees to their workplace when he suddenly stopped the bus and fired at his passengers.
"The bus driver for the company Arab Contractors was taking 22 laborers and other employees" to their workplace in Giza when he stopped the vehicle at Meniel Shiha, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Cairo, the official said.
"He then took out an automatic weapon and opened fire at the passengers, killing six on the spot and wounding 16, who have been taken to hospital," he said, asking not to be named, because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
The Arab Contractors company identified the assailant as 53-year-old Mahmoud Sweilam in a statement issued after the attack.
It said he had hidden his weapon under the bus seat and then turned himself in after the shooting, which took place just 300 meters from company premises.
Effat Abdullah, the company spokesman, said that Sweilam spent 20 years in the company, one of the largest construction companies in Egypt, but declined to comment on a possible motive for the attack.
Sixth of October Governor Fathi Saad told state TV that the other passengers on the bus had overpowered the driver after the shooting.
The assailant was arrested but no immediate word emerged on his motives, although survivors were quoted as saying the driver had been suffering depression due to a job transfer.
According to a security official, the gunman appeared to have suffered severe depression after he was transferred to a new position.
The governor said the violence was all the more shocking because Sweilam had "a good reputation."
The incident was a rare case of workplace violence in Egypt, which experienced some terrorist attacks in the 1990s as well as occasional inter-family vendettas in the impoverished south.
Egyptian policeman stand guard in front of the gate of the construction firm where a bus driver shot dead six workers and wounded 16 others as he sprayed them with gunfire on their vehicle, south of Cairo on July 6, 2010. (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)