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Swedish foreign ministry: okay to travel to Hurghada

Published lördag 9 januari 2016 kl 18.06
Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazoua talks to journalists at the four-star Bella Vista Hotel, the scene of an knife attack Friday that injured three tourists, in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt. Photo: Mohsen Nabil / AP / TT
Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazoua talks to journalists at the four-star Bella Vista Hotel, the scene of an knife attack Friday that injured three tourists, in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt. Photo: Mohsen Nabil / AP / TT

After the attack Friday on the resort town of Hurghada in Egypt, which injured one Swede, the Swedish foreign ministry has advised unhurt Swedes who are there to get in contact with their relatives. 

The department has also sent embassy personnel to the scene, according to Joakim Edvardsson Reimar, from the foreign ministry. But as of Saturday evening, the ministry is not advising people against travelling to Hurghada.

"No, we're not advising against trips to this specific area in Egypt, even though we have fairly rigorous advisories for Egypt on the whole," Edvardsson Reimar told Swedish Radio News, explaining that the ministry has been in contact with local authorities and also other EU countries in order to get a shared picture of the situation.

On Friday night, two armed men carried out an attack, stabbing a Swede at a restaurant connected to the beachside Bella Vista hotel, and injuring two Austrians.

While the hotel's Facebook page described the attack as having been carried out by two "drugged young men" with a fake gun and small knives, but AFP notes that one worker at the restaurant claimed the attackers were carrying a black banner that resembled the IS group flag.

The motive for the attack is unclear, and while the Egyptian tourism minister Hisham Zazou said that that the attackers were too amateurish to belong to a terrorism group, Swedish Radio News Middle East correspondant Cecilia Uddén points out that it is in Egypt's interest to downplay the attack, given the damage that has already been done to the country's tourism industry.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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