Mexican survivors of deadly air raid leave Egypt

Six people fly home on Mexican president’s plane from Cairo after Egyptian military bombed their group, killing eight.

Mexicans survivors of attack by Egyptian security forces return to their country
Mexican President Enrique Nieto sent a plane to Egypt to bring the survivors home [Handout of Foreign Secretary Office of Mexico/EPA]

Six Mexican tourists who survived a deadly air raid on their convoy by Egyptian security forces have returned home, as the government has vowed to press for answers over how the group was mistaken for armed rebels.

On Friday, the survivors were lowered onto a platform from the presidential plane, which President Enrique Nieto sent to Egypt with the foreign minister to bring them home.

The five women and one man, who suffered burns and injuries from what one survivor described as a three-hour bombing ordeal on Sunday, were immediately swept by helicopter to hospital to finish their recovery.

Mercedes Juan Lopez, Mexico’s health minister, said that one of the survivors had a broken femur, but that they were all in stable condition. None of the survivors had been shot, she said. There were reports that forces on the ground had fired at the tourists as they tried to flee.

Eight dead

Claudia Ruiz Massieu, Mexico’s foreign minister, said she hoped to repatriate the remains of the eight Mexicans who died in the attack in the coming days.

She said the government was waiting for the results of an “exhaustive investigation” that Nieto had demanded of the Egyptian authorities.

“What happened makes us indignant and has hurt all Mexicans,” she told a news conference at the airport. “We are evaluating all avenues of diplomacy and international human rights that we can take.”

Massieu said the government was prepared to weigh “international” action if the results of the probe were unsatisfactory, but did not elaborate. Mexico also has demanded that Egypt compensate the victims.

The group of 22 people had parked for a barbecue near the Bahariya oasis, a tourist site in the western desert, when army aircraft began attacking them believing they were armed rebels, security sources and survivors said.

Source: Reuters