German holidaymakers are being advised to take care in Egypt after the two deadly terrorist attacks on Christian churches.
More than 40 people were killed and a further 110 injured when terrorists exploded bombs at churches in Alexandria and Tanta (north of Cairo) on Sunday. The IS claimed it had carried out the attacks and threatened more.
The Egyptian government has responded with a state of emergency for the next three months.
In Germany, the foreign ministry stepped up its travel advice for Egypt. “Throughout the country there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks and the danger of kidnappings. These may also be directed about foreign targets and citizens,” it stated. The ministry generally advises Germans visiting Egypt to avoid crowds and demonstrations, and to take special care.
TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 3, with more than 2,000 passengers, was docked in Alexandria at the time of the attack. Passengers visiting the city were immediately escorted back to the ship which then departed earlier than planned. The German cruise line is reviewing whether to make a planned stop at Alexandria next week or not.
In other responses, Israel closed its border with Egypt and urged Israelis visiting Egypt to return home. The Russian foreign ministry advised its nationals to avoid crowds and take special care.
The terror attacks come at a time when Egyptian tourism is making a clear recovery after severe declines in the last two years. All major German tour operators currently have strong increases in bookings for Egypt, although admittedly compared to a weak previous year.