Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that eight Mexicans had been killed in the Egyptian military’s mistaken assault on a tourist convoy in the desert over the weekend.
The news quadrupled the number of Mexican tourists known to have been killed in the assault on Sunday in western Egypt’s storied White Desert area. At least 12 people were killed in all, including the convoy’s Egyptian tour guide.
The Foreign Ministry in Mexico said that officials from the Mexican Embassy in Cairo had identified the bodies as belonging to the group once they had been given access to them.
The news was confirmed as Mexico’s foreign minister, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, was flying to Cairo with some of the family members of the dead tourists.
Map | Bahariya, Egypt
In a message on her Twitter account, Ms. Ruiz Massieu expressed her condolences to the families of the eight victims.
Ms. Ruiz Massieu had said at a news conference in Mexico City on Monday that two Mexicans had been killed and six wounded. Officials said later they could not account for six other missing Mexican tourists.
Egypt’s government has apologized for the error, but the killings have generated deep anger in Mexico, with officials demanding how such a mistake could have happened.
A four-vehicle tourist convoy that had pulled over for a lunchtime picnic was attacked by an Apache helicopter of the Egyptian military. Egyptian officials have said the picnickers were mistaken for militants who had been operating in the area, about a three-hour drive southwest of Cairo.
Elisabeth Malkin reported from Mexico City, and Rick Gladstone from New York.
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(via NY Times)