French tourist killed in Red Sea resort hold-up

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CAIRO: A French tourist was killed and a German and two Egyptians were wounded on Saturday during a hold-up at a money exchange bureau in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egyptian officials said.

Two police officials said the 42-year-old man died immediately from gunshot wounds to the stomach and thigh.

They said the gunmen began shooting after police arrived on the scene and tried to stop them from robbing the money exchange. A German tourist and two Egyptians were also wounded, the officials said.

Khaled Foda, governor of South Sinai, said the injured German had been taken to hospital, where his condition was stable.

The French embassy confirmed the death of the Frenchman, but did not identify him.

Security services later arrested three suspects. All three of the men were wounded in a shootout with the security forces, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the media. The exchange bureau is located in the old souk, or market, of the town.

Tucked between the mountains of the Sinai desert and waters of the Red Sea, Sharm El-Sheikh’s glitzy strip of golden beaches, hotels and casinos, diving resorts and golf courses is a major player in Egypt’s key tourism industry.

But the sector has suffered heavily since a popular revolt broke out a year ago that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February.

The resort was a favorite bolt hole for Mubarak, who was known for showing off development in the area to foreign guests he invited there for political meetings and conferences.

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