A bombing in one of the Egyptian capital’s busy tourist districts killed a French tourist Sunday and wounded 23 other people, including 18 Europeans, Egyptian authorities reported.
The French tourist killed was a 17-year-old girl. The blast wounded 17 other French nationals, one of whom was in critical condition Sunday evening, and one German, Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shaheen told state-run Nile TV. Three Saudis and two Egyptians also were hurt, he said. A man and a woman were arrested after the incident, security officials said. The nationalities of the arrestees were not disclosed. The explosion occurred during the height of the evening rush at 6:30 p.m. in an area of coffee shops located near the Al Hussein Mosque, one of Cairo’s largest, Interior Ministry press officer Hany Abdelatif said. The bomb was left under a stone chair, a ministry statement said. An undetonated bomb was found near the mosque, which sits close to an entrance of the Khan el-Khalili bazaar, a huge market and a tourist attraction, Abdelatif said. Nile TV said President Hosni Mubarak was “closely monitoring the situation” and had ordered “full medical care for all those injured in the blast.” Egyptian medical officials said they expected several of the injured to be released from hospital treatment on Monday. In Paris, the French government said its embassy in Cairo was prepared to offer aid to its citizens injured in the blast and offered its sympathies to the victims. “My thoughts are with the families of and those close to the victims, so cruelly and unjustly stricken,” Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement issued late Sunday. Kouchner offered the “support and solidarity” of France to Egyptian authorities, “who we are certain will be able to shed light on this tragic event.”