Explosion kills 3 Korean tourists in Sinai

By 송상호
  • Published : Feb 16, 2014 - 22:23
  • Updated : Feb 17, 2014 - 16:27
A picture taken on February 16, 2014 show smoke billowing from the site of a bomb explosion that targeted a tourist bus in the Egyptian south Sinai resort town of Taba. A bomb tore through a bus carrying sightseers near an Egyptian resort town bordering Israel, police officials said. (AFP-Yonhap)
A bomb attack on a tourist bus in Egypt has killed three South Koreans, along with one Egyptian, and injured 13 others, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.

The bus, carrying 31 South Korean churchgoers and two Korean tour guides, was hit by the suspected suicide attack on the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, when it was preparing to cross into Israel, according to the ministry.

The blast killed one South Korean female tourist and two South Korean tour guides, along with the Egyptian driver, the ministry said, adding that 13 others were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries.

Though some officials said the body of the suspect was also found on the scene, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. It was not clear if South Koreans were specifically targeted in the explosion.

The team of tourists from South Korea's central city of Jincheon has been on a 12 day-long three-nation pilgrimage since last week to Turkey, Egypt and Israel, according to officials of Jincheon Central Presbyterian Church.

South Korea condemned the deadly attack and vowed to do everything to fight terrorism.

"We strongly condemned the terror attack against the tour bus carrying South Korean civilians. It is beyond deplorable," foreign ministry representative Cho Tai-young said in a statement.

"We will actively cooperate with the Egyptian government along with the international community to learn who masterminded the attack," he said, vowing "to take part in the international efforts to eradicate terrorism," which is a crime against humanity.

To assess the situation and deal with it, the Seoul government immediately dispatched two officials to the site, with President Park Geun-hye instructing officials to "do everything to take the best care of the victims."

The ministry also issued a special travel advisory for the peninsula, calling on its people to immediately withdraw from the region and not to visit the region.

The Sinai Peninsula has become increasingly lawless since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011. (Yonhap)