Egypt: European tourists suffered shallow wounds, in stable condition after stabbing

Egypt's Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, said two men armed with knives had entered the restaurant at the front of the seaside, four-star Bella Vista Hotel and attacked the tourists.

By: AP | Cairo | Updated: January 9, 2016 8:36 pm
Egypt hotel attack, hotel attack egypt, egypt tourists attack, egypt tourists, tourist hotel egypt, egypt news, world news This video image shows Ahmed Abdullah, Governor of Egypt’s Red Sea Governorate visiting Sammie Olovsson, a tourist wounded in a knife attack on Fridayat an Egyptian Red Sea resort on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Hurghada, Egypt. Two suspected militants attacked the three at a hotel in Hurghada late Friday. Security forces shot both assailants, killing one and wounding the other before arresting him. (AP Photos/APTN

Two Austrians and a Swede who were stabbed in an attack on a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada were only lightly wounded and in stable condition on Saturday, an Egyptian hospital official said.

The official, who requested anonymity in line with regulations, identified the victims as Renata and Wilhelm Weisslein, both 72, and Sammie Olovsson, 27. The official said they suffered shallow wounds.

Two suspected militants attacked the three at a hotel in Hurghada late Friday. Security forces shot both attackers, killing one and wounding the other before arresting him.

It was the second hotel attack in as many days. An Islamic State affiliate claimed an attack Thursday on a hotel in Cairo near the Pyramids that did not wound anyone. Egypt has been battling an insurgency based in the northern Sinai Peninsula that grew following the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The Interior Ministry said that in the Hurghada attack, two men armed with knives and pellet guns attacked the tourists in the restaurant at the front of the seaside, four-star Bella Vista Hotel.

Jan-Eric Olovsson, the 64-year-old father of the Swedish victim, told the Swedish Expressen newspaper that they were having dinner in the restaurant when the attackers stormed in.

“Everything went really fast. We sat there and ate and then they showed up,” he said. “I thought they came from outside. I myself had the gun pointed at me three times, and Sammie was stabbed with the knife.”

He said his son was stabbed four times in the neck but “did well” because of his physical strength. “I told him to lie still,” he said, recalling how his son lay in a pool of blood. “I got up a few times and when I saw it was clear, I ran out on the street and tried to get hold of an ambulance.”

He said another woman who was eating in the restaurant was also wounded.

Shortly after the attack, Sammie updated his Facebook profile, saying he was “lucky” to have deflected the knife when the attacker tried to stab him in the chest. He said the knife cut some muscles in his neck but no arteries or nerves, and that he would be able to leave the hospital Saturday.

Egypt has been struggling to revive its tourism industry after years of unrest stemming from the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The apparent bombing of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai last year, claimed by the IS group, led to widespread flight cancellations, dealing a major blow to the industry, which is one of the country’s main earners.