Updated February. 18, 2014 07:18
An Islamic extremist group linked to the international terrorist group Al Qaeda claimed on Monday that they are behind the bus bombing in Taba district in the Sinai Peninsula in northeast Egypt, which left three Koreans killed, and warned additional terror attacks.
The Islamic extremist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (people keeping holy place) said in its official Twitter page, We will give a four-day grace period so that all countries can withdraw their citizens from the Sinai Peninsula to prevent them from becoming the target of our attacks. The Spanish news agency EFE quoted the group as saying, We will continue attacks targeting the tourism and gas industries, which are sources of cash for them (the Egyptian government).
The Koreans who were killed at the bus bombing while having pilgrimage tour have been identified as Kim Hong-ryeol, 64 (woman) of JungAng Presbyterian Church in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province; Je Jin-soo, 56, a local tour conductor and head of the local travel agency Blue Sky; and Kim Jin-gyu, 35, who was guiding the entourage from Korea. Fourteen Koreans who were injured in the bombing are taking treatment at Sharm EL Sheikh international hospital and Nuweiba hospital, which are some 100 to 200 kilometers away from Taba. A total of 35 people comprised of 33 Koreans, including two tour conductors and religious followers with JungAng Presbyterian Church, the driver and guide from Egypt were aboard the bus when it was under attack. The Egyptian driver was also among the dead.
A Foreign Affairs Ministry source in Seoul said, Considering testimonies by those injured, one unidentified male attacker in his 20s seem to have thrown a bomb, adding, Most of the injured had debris from the bomb hit their legs below the knee.
The Korean government urgently dispatched a contingency response team comprised of four officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Police Agency and the National Intelligence Service on Monday. The government also put in place an effective travel ban (special travel warning) to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.