MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Eight Mexicans were killed in an apparently mistaken attack by Egyptian security forces that killed 12 people & wounded 10, the sister of a Mexican Reiki healer who was among the dead said on Monday, citing a relative of their slain guide.
Mexico's foreign ministry said on Monday at least two Mexicans were killed, though Egyptian security & judicial sources after said that eight Mexicans & four Egyptians were killed, & that eight Mexicans & two Egyptians were wounded.
Rafael Bejarano, an alternative healer & musician who had visited Egypt more than a dozen times, was killed in the attack, & his mother Marisela Rangel Davalos, 63, was among six Mexicans injured & in hospital.
"I don't think they were mistaken (for militants)," Bejarano's sister Gabriela told local radio. "As far as I understand … they were dining when they came under attack."
"They were in a permitted area. On this occasion they didn't stay to camp, because that was what was not permitted."
She said a relative of the guide had sent her a list of eight Mexicans killed in the incident.
Araceli Rangel Davalos, Marisela's sister, said she knew the group's guide, an Egyptology expert whom she identified as Nabil Altawami, well. She had not yet spoken to her sister.
She last travelled with Altawami in Egypt two years ago & understands there were 15 Mexicans in her sister's tour group.
"I have travelled with the guide around 9 times, & he never exposed us to any danger," she told Reuters by telephone. "He protected us."
Mexican tourists who survived the attack said they were bombed by military helicopters & an aircraft while they stopped for a break in the western desert, Mexico's foreign minister said on Monday.
(Reporting by Noe Torres & Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Simon Gardner & Grant McCool)