Muslim Brotherhood says Taba victims were ‘Zionists’

In tweet, outlawed Egyptian Islamist party ignores fact that the three tourists killed in the blast were South Korean

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

The wreckage of the bus blown up near the Taba crossing on the Egypt-Israel border, February 16, 2014 (photo credit: AFP)
The wreckage of the bus blown up near the Taba crossing on the Egypt-Israel border, February 16, 2014 (photo credit: AFP)

A Twitter account associated with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday reported that a deadly explosion in Taba killed three “Zionists,” making no mention of the fact that the casualties were in fact South Korean.

An al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group operating in the lawless Sinai Peninsula claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack adjacent to the border crossing with Israel. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said it had carried out the bus bombing in the Egyptian town of Taba that left four dead and 13 injured.

One of the dead was the bus’s Egyptian driver, while the rest of the victims were members of a Korean Christian tour group from the east Asian country’s North Chungcheong Province.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official Arabic Twitter feed reported Sunday, however, on “the killing of 3 Zionists and injuring of 14 others in a bus explosion in Taba in Sinai.” The @ikhwantawasol Twitter handle has over 98,000 followers on the microblogging site.

Although the 31 South Koreans aboard the bus were on a church trip to Egypt, Israel, and Turkey, their political affiliation is unknown. The term “Zionists” is often used in Arabic to refer to Israelis.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s English Twitter feed, however, did not send out any information on Sunday or Monday about the Taba bombing to its 117,000 followers, opting instead to bash the military-backed government’s crackdown on journalists. 

South Korea condemned the attack, calling it “beyond deplorable,” and vowing to combat terrorism, the Yonhap news agency reported.

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