Suspect of killing Hurghada tourists hospitalised for psychiatric evaluation

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read
The Red Sea governorate agreed to provide a construction work licence for the Sheraton Hotel and Resort project to the Saudi-Egyptian Company for Red Sea Investments, according to a company official. (AFP Photo)

The Higher National Security Prosecution referred on Monday the suspected accused of killing and injuring tourists in Hurghada to be hospitalised for evaluation, according to state media and the suspect’s lawyers.

The suspect is to be detained at the hospital, and the psychiatric evaluation will take 45 days, lawyer Khaled Al-Masry said. He added that the prosecution might renew his detention in the hospital and await a report about his mental health.

The incident took place in the resort city, amid conflicting reports about the exact hotel where the stabbing took place.

Previously, unnamed security sources told Reuters that the arrested suspect attempted to join the Islamic State (IS) and that he might face terrorism-related charges. However, no government body has stated the motives behind the incident, and no militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced that a suspect was arrested after assaulting with a knife a number of tourists while on the beach, stating that the attack resulted in the injury of six female tourists of different nationalities.

The stabbing attack is the second to take place in Egypt, since the start of militant activities in the country. The first took place in January 2016, in the Bella Vista Resort also in Hurghada, as militants entered the hotel, stabbing and wounding three tourists—one Swedish and two Austrian nationals.

One of the attackers was killed on scene, where the two others were sentenced to life in prison last December.

After the attack, the Egyptian government intensified its security measures around touristic destinations and monuments.

The attack was one of the incidents that affected tourism in the last four years, leading to a severe decrease in revenue generated from Egypt’s tourism sector. Tourism has been declining since January 2011, and several events have stalled its recovery, such as the crash of a Russian aeroplane over Sinai in 2015.

The following month, IS-affiliated group “Sinai Province” claimed responsibility for the aeroplane crash, which they claim was executed with an improvised explosive device (IED).

Amid the confusion over the crash’s cause, the UK and Germany suspended their direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, in addition to Russia.

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