Egypt’s Ambassador to Mexico, Yasser Shaban, has shined a new light on the recent incident that resulted in the deaths of eight Mexicans visiting Egypt.
Shaban said that he could not yet confirm that the Egyptian military was responsible for the tragic incident that took the lives of the eight tourists. Initially, some Arab media reported that Egyptian officials concluded their deaths were a result of the Egyptian army misidentifying the tourists as jihadists.
“I can’t assure you at this time that it was something done by the army, since they were conducting an operation at that very time in the same area,” the ambassador said in an interview with Mexico City’s El Universal, adding that Egypt’s Attorney General’s Office was still investigating the matter.
The September 13 incident also took the lives of four Egyptians, officials said.
“Operations were being conducted by the army, in coordination with the police, against terrorist groups in the area, indicating that it was an attack in error because they mistook these people” for jihadis, Shaban told El Universal.
“We cannot confirm anything yet about what happened, or who perpetrated it,” the Egyptian added.
Under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt has been engaged in a campaign to quash the jihadist insurgency threatening the country, with groups such as ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood continuing to call for holy war against the government.
The report added that six Mexican nationals who were hurt in the attack are now being treated at a rehabilitation center in Mexico City. They were flown to the center Mexico’s presidential plan on Friday and were accompanied by Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu.
The bodies of the eight dead Mexican tourists will be flown back to their home country on Monday, Cairo officials told AFP.
Egypt has reportedly banned media in the country from reporting about details pertaining to the investigation. However, Cairo has pledged a “transparent” investigation into the matter.