CNN- At least three people died and 14 were wounded Sunday by an explosion on a tourist bus in the Egyptian resort town of Taba, an official with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.
Tourist bus blast kills 3 in Egypt
Sunday ,16 February 2014
Brig. Gen. Alaa Mahmoud said 33 tourists from South Korea were on the bus and had visited the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine's, in the Sinai Peninsula. The bus was headed to Israel and was in line near a border crossing, he said.
Israeli police dispatched ambulances and patrol cars to the border with Egypt to help if needed, Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN.
Taba is in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula, just a few miles from Israel.
No one had yet labeled the explosion as a terrorist attack, but the region has seen Islamist militants become more active in recent years.
In January, three soldiers were killed when armed men attacked their bus. And in November, a car bomb killed 10 soldiers.
The Egyptian revolution that toppled strongman President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 brought a resurgence of Islamists, whom his military regime had repressed for decades. This included moderate factions like the Muslim Brotherhood, which swept into power when Mohamed Morsy became President in Egypt's first democratic elections.
But it also included extremists, some suspected of having affiliations with al Qaeda. In the Sinai Peninsula, they have called for the establishment of an Islamist caliphate. The Egyptian military began cracking down on them again.
In July, when the military ousted Morsy in a coup, Islamist extremists in the Sinai saw it as an attack against Islam and have stepped up their assaults, particularly against soldiers and military installations.
Taba was also the scene of a triple bombing in 2004, when 34 people were killed at hotels that were attacked.