CAIRO, Feb 28 – An American has been slightly hurt after being knifed in the legendary Cairo bazaar of Khan al-Khalili, just days after a French teen was killed there by a bomb, a security official said on Saturday.,
The victim, a teacher at the American School in Egypt’s Mediterranean port of Alexandria who was visiting the capital with his wife, suffered slight cuts to the face in the Friday incident.
Police arrested the alleged attacker they identified as 46-year-old Egyptian labourer Abdel Rahman Mohammed and were interrogating him, the state-news MENA news agency reported.
The suspect was said to have acted out of "hatred for foreigners because of the Israeli offensive in Gaza" that ended on January 18 after 22 days, leaving more than 1,300 Palestinians dead.
MENA reported that the suspect was mentally ill and had been previously detained in 2000 after attacking tourists and policemen. He was later released after doctors decided he had no control over his actions, it said.
Last Sunday, a bomb exploded in one of the 1,500-year-old market’s crowded narrow streets.
A 17-year-old French girl was killed and 25 other people were wounded. She had been among a tour group of 54 teenagers from the Paris region, and most of the injured were French.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but three people were later arrested. Analysts said the bombing could have been the work of an isolated Islamist cell.
Sunday’s attack was the first deadly violence since 2006 against Westerners in Egypt, where tourism is a vital foreign currency earner.
Egypt was struck by a spate of deadly attacks on Westerners by Islamic militant groups in the 1990s that dealt a savage blow to the hospitality industry.
Last year, 13 million tourists visited Egypt, bringing in 11 billion dollars in revenue. The industry also employs 12.6 percent of the workforce.