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Tourists wounded in attack at Egypt resort

Police and hotel employees are seen at the scene where gunmen attacked a tourist bus in front of a hotel in Giza, Greater Cairo, Egypt, January 7, 2016.

REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO - Two suspected militants on Friday stabbed and wounded three foreign tourists - two Austrians and a Swede - at a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Hurghada, the Interior Ministry said.

Security forces opened fire at the two assailants, killing one and seriously wounding the other, according to the ministry. It said two men armed with knives had entered the hotel's outdoor restaurant at the front of the building and attacked the tourists.

All three wounded tourists were taken to hospital, where one was treated and discharged, the statement said. There was no word on the condition of the other two.

Security officials had initially said the attackers wounded two tourists, a Dane and a German, but such discrepancies are common in the immediate aftermath of terror attacks.

The attack came just hours after the local affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for an attack a day earlier on a hotel in Cairo near the Giza Pyramids. No one was hurt in the Thursday attack.

Egypt has been battling an insurgency by Islamic militants led by the ISIS affiliate. The insurgency has been focused in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula but has frequently spilled over into the mainland since the ouster in 2013 of the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The Hurghada attack is a dangerous precedent since Egypt's Red Sea resorts have done better than elsewhere in the country in withering the slump suffered by the vital tourism sector in the five years of turmoil since a popular uprising topped longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Thursday's attack was also significant in that it targeted a hotel in Cairo, a heavily policed city of some 18 million tourists, at a time when security appeared to improve in recent months after a series of disruptive bomb attacks.

Egypt's tourist industry was decimated after the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai in October. The local ISIS affiliate has claimed it downed the aircraft with a bomb. All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, mostly Russian tourists.