Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) said on Friday its members carried out an attack on Israeli tourists in Cairo in response to a call by the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to target Jews “everywhere”.
The group said in an internet statement that light arms were used in Thursday’s assault outside a Cairo hotel, in which no one was hurt.
Egypt’s interior ministry said the attack was directed at security forces and was carried out by a lone gunman who fired bird shot. The attacker was arrested, it added.
Security sources said the tourists were Israeli Arabs and there were no casualties.
ISIL’s Egypt affiliate, based in the restive Sinai, is fighting Egyptian security forces and mostly targeting soldiers and policemen.
The tourism industry is a vital source of hard currency in Egypt and is highly sensitive to attacks.
ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner two months ago that crashed in the northern Sinai, killing all 224 people aboard, mostly Russian tourists.
Violence in Egypt has been rising since the army toppled former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
Hundreds of members of the security forces have been attacked in suicide bombings and shootings, which persist despite the toughest crackdown in Egypt’s history.
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