Updated: 02/18/2014 03:25 | By Agence France-Presse

Shocked South Koreans in Egypt hospital after deadly bus bomb

South Korean tourists wounded in a deadly bus bombing that killed four people near the border with Israel were in hospital Monday in Egypt's Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.


Shocked South Koreans in Egypt hospital after deadly bus bomb

An injured South Korean man sits in a wheel chair at Sharm international hospital in the Red Sea town of Sharm el-Sheikh, some 500 kilometers east of Cairo, on February 17, 2014, a day after a tourist bus was targeted by a bomb - by Khaled Desouki

Police said a suicide bomber was probably behind the attack that killed three South Koreans and their Egyptian driver.

Doctors in the resort city were examining 14 wounded South Koreans, helped by an Arabic-speaking countryman of theirs who lives in Egypt and who volunteered to help.

"We have three corpses and several body parts, we don’t know if they belong to one person or to several people," hospital manager Mohammed Ashry told AFP.

But he also said that the wounded had suffered light injuries only and were expected to be released in the coming days.

Sunday's bombing near the Taba border crossing was the first targeting tourists since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, sparking a militant campaign that has killed scores of police and soldiers.

The tourists were all members of the same church group from the central South Korean county of Jincheon, and were on a 12-day trip through Turkey, Egypt and Israel.

They had been about to cross into Israel when the blast occurred.

On the third floor of the hospital, patients were reluctant to speak to journalists.

Some were in bed, wearing blue hospital gowns, and with bandages on their arms or legs.

Sitting in a wheelchair in a hallway, one South Korean spoke on his mobile phone but declined to talk to AFP.

- 'Nobody expected it' -

"They are shocked, they don't want to remember the moment" when the bomb exploded, an official from the South Korean embassy in Cairo told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Everything happened so quickly. It was a surprise for everybody -- nobody expected it."

Two Egyptians were also wounded in the blast, Ashry said.

The brother of bus driver who died in the attack sat in the hospital gardens on Monday, receiving phone calls from people wanting to express their condolences.

Sameh Joseph Samy told them that the funeral of his brother Samy would be held on Tuesday in a Cairo church.

"We learned of the death of my brother like everyone else, from television," the 45-year-old told AFP in a husky voice.

"When we saw the footage of his bus we recognised it," added Sameh, himself a bus driver working in the tourism industry.

"He was coming from Saint Catherine's Monastery and going to Taba. How could we expect something like this? Taba is ultra-secure. It couldn’t be more secure," he added.

He spoke surrounded by colleagues, who had come to offer their support in his time of loss.

Most said they found it hard to believe that such an attack could take place at the Taba crossing.

"It is always full of police and security," Magdi Mansour, a 55-year-old bus driver, told AFP.

"How could something like this happen when a bus coming from Saint Catherine to Taba goes through no less than eight security checkpoints?" Mansour asked in disbelief.

"Now we drive around and are afraid of something happening," he said.

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