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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Hold Militants After Cairo Massacre

CAIRO -- Egyptian police rounded up suspected Moslem militants in shantytowns around Cairo in an attempt to identify the gunmen who massacred 18 Greek tourists outside a Cairo hotel, a government newspaper said on Friday.


The police carried out raids on militant hideouts in the districts of Birka, Talibiya and Boulak al-Dakrour, all of which are close to the scene of Thursday's attack on the road to the Giza Pyramids, said the newspaper al-Ahram.


It did not say how many people they detained and gave no indication the police were closer to tracing the perpetrators. The Interior Ministry said it was checking the report.


The newspaper said the gunmen probably belonged to the Gama'a al-Islamiya (Islamic Group), an organization fighting to overthrow the government and set up an slamic wtate.


The four gunmen opened fire into the group of Greek tourists outside the Europa Hotel on Thursday morning, killing 18 of them and wounding 15 people -- 14 Greeks and their Egyptian driver.


Government newspapers mentioned in passing the possibility that the gunmen might have mistaken the Greeks for Israelis and that the motive for the attack might be revenge for more than a week of Israeli attacks in south Lebanon and around Beirut.


At least 150 people have been killed in the Israeli attacks, the vast majority of them civilians.


No group has claimed responsibility for the Cairo attack and any motive remains pure speculation.


But newspaper commentaries concentrated on the theory that it was the latest and bloodiest in the long series of attacks on the Egyptian tourist industry by the Gama'a.


In the four years up to the attack on Thursday, Moslem militants had killed eight foreigners and wounded 53 in more than 20 attacks on trains, coaches and Nile cruise boats.