CAIRO – Egyptian police killed dozens of suspected militants in security raids, one day after the killing of three tourists in a bomb blast in Cairo, according to the country’s interior ministry.
Three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed Friday evening in a roadside bomb blast that targeted a tourist bus near the world-famous Pyramids in Gaza province, west of Cairo.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement, the interior ministry said security forces killed at least 40 suspected militants in raids in the provinces of Giza and northern Sinai.
According to the statement, police forces killed 30 militants in exchanges of fire west of Cairo, while 10 others were killed in the North Sinai city of Arish.
The ministry said the militants “were planning a series of hostile operations against state institutions, tourist sites and churches”.
The statement, however, did not link the slain militants to Friday’s attack on the tourist bus.
The ministry’s narrative could not be verified from an independent source.
Egyptian security forces are already on a state of alert ahead of Christmas, which Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate on Jan. 7.
Coptic Christians are estimated to account for roughly 15 percent of Egypt’s overall population of some 104 million.