Deadly Cairo attack caught on tape
September 19, 1997
Web posted at: 3:45 p.m. EDT (1945 GMT)
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- Amateur video of a fiery terrorist
attack surfaced Friday, one day after nine German tourists
and an Egyptian bus driver were killed outside the Egyptian
Museum in Cairo.
The pictures, taken from a nearby hotel balcony, show
survivors of the firebombing jumping from a rear window as
the front of the parked bus burns. After the first German
tourist gets out, he helps others escape.
There is also a brief glimpse of a suspect being tackled by
Witnesses said three men in white shirts and ties walked up
to the bus, and fired rifles and hurled gasoline bombs as
German tourists were climbing aboard.
'Deranged gunman' blamed
Egyptian officials said a "deranged gunman" and his brother
were responsible. The government hopes to distance
Thursday's attack from others carried out by Muslim militants
who want to destabilize Egypt's vital tourist industry and
set up an Islamic fundamentalist government.
Police identified two of the suspects as
police statement said Saber Abu el-Ulla had been convicted of
a 1993 attack on a Cairo hotel that left two Americans and a
It said he had been committed to a mental institution but
escaped three days ago. However, police officials, speaking
on condition of anonymity, said he had been released after
spending two years in the institution.
Police said a possible accomplice also was arrested, and they
alluded to a fourth suspect who escaped, although there were
conflicting reports about whether authorities had in custody
-- or still were looking for -- another person.
The motive for Thursday's attack was unclear, but in the
past, Muslim militants seeking to overthrow the Egyptian
government have targeted tourists.
Incident impacts tourism
Police set up checkpoints around the city and intensified
at hotels and tourist sites.
The government-run al-Ahram newspaper said police rounded up
12 people -- including a restaurant owner who allegedly
served the gunmen dinner on Wednesday.
In related developments Friday:
- Eighteen tourists who survived the attack
Germany to emotional reunions with relatives and friends at
the Frankfurt airport. Twenty-four people were wounded; some
were still being treated in a Cairo hospital.
- The German government warned its citizens to avoid
high-risk areas in Egypt.
- Tour operators in Germany said they were being deluged by
calls from people wanting to cancel, reschedule or change
their tours to Egypt.
But the attack appeared to have
little effect on the visitors already in Egypt, and travel
agents in Cairo and Britain said tourist cancellations were
minimal. Four million tourists visited Egypt last year, and
officials say they expect even more this year.
Correspondent James Martone and Reuters contributed to this report.