Mexico’s foreign minister is making an official trip to Egypt with relatives of Mexican tourists killed in an attack by Egyptian security forces. The visit comes as six more bodies were identified as Mexican nationals.
Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu left for Cairo on Tuesday to demand an urgent inquiry into an attack by Egyptian security forces that left eight Mexican tourists dead in Egypt’s western desert.
Accompanied by four of the victims’ relatives, Ruiz Massieu is traveling to “clear up the circumstances of this deplorable event, which has cost the lives of innocent Mexican tourists.”
According to Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, Mexican diplomats in Cairo “has access to the remains of victims” from the attack, allowing them “to confirm that they correspond to the six Mexicans who were part of the group of tourists.”
“We face a terrible loss of human lives and an unjustified attack that obligates us to make the protection of our citizens the priority,” Ruiz Massieu said prior to departing for Egypt.
On Monday, the foreign minister said six of the Mexican survivors gave details of the event to the Mexican ambassador, stating that they had “suffered an aerial attack with bombs launched by a plane and helicopters” after stopping for lunch at a popular destination in the Western Desert.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said on Tuesday that the government is handling an ongoing investigation into the circumstances of the attack.
“We still do not know if the convoy was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if some error was involved,” Shukri said in the statement.
However, Egypt has come under criticism for attempting to put the blame on the tourists, after saying that they were not given authorization to go to the desert, a destination frequented by Western tourists.
Monday’s attack comes as Egypt’s tourism-dependent economy struggles to rebound from years of social and political unrest.