Egypt’s tourism minister resigned a day after President Mohamed Morsi appointed the new governor to Luxor province.
Hesham Zazou said on Wednesday he “couldn’t continue in the role of tourism minister” after the appointment of Adel al-Khayat.
Following are witness accounts of the day that Adel Mohammed al-Khayat and his Islamic terrorist comrades murdered 58 tourists.
“As they ran past a Japanese tourist, she said, one of the men fired into the woman’s face from a range of about 15 inches.” The gunmen “took all the young women, the girls, and disappeared with them. I don’t know where they went with the women, but they hurt them. We could hear screams of pain,” Dousse said.
Among the horrors, the marauders cut off the ears and noses of several of their victims. A note praising Islam was found inside one disemboweled body.
The foreign dead included 31 Swiss, 10 Japanese, five Germans, four Britons, one child (a Bulgarian), a Colombian and a French citizen. The Japanese victims were four newlywed couples and an elderly couple on their second honeymoon.
Witnesses told how the terrorists methodically executed the European tourists. Some were forced to kneel before being shot, while others were stabbed to death.
Little Shaunnah, her mum and gran, all from Ripponden, West Yorks, died alongside fellow Brits George Wigham, 69, and wife Ivy, 71, of Swanley, Kent, and Londoner Sylvia Wilder, 26.
Shaunnah Turner’ father, Richard, spoke of his murdered daughter after the horror: “In a crowd she would shine. She was really beautiful. She had an impish charm that could win anybody over.”
A member of the movement whose gunmen killed 58 foreigners at a temple in Luxor in 1997 was sworn in by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Monday as governor of the vital tourist region.
Adel Mohammed al-Khayat, who now represents the Building and Development Party, the political wing of the al-Gamaa al-Islamiya movement.
‘No to the terrorist governor!’ read a placard at a demonstration by dozens of tourism workers who protested outside the governor’s office in Luxor.
Khayat, then in his mid-40s, was a leader of al-Gamaa al-Islamiya in another province when, on Nov. 17, 1997, six young men from the group shot their way into the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor’s Valley of the Queens.
The attack was part of a broader campaign by the group, at that time linked to al Qaeda, to cripple tourism revenues for the government of then-president Hosni Mubarak. Of the 62 people killed in the next hour, 58 were foreign tourists, more than half of them Swiss and the rest Japanese, British, German and Colombian.
The gunmen, reported to have trained at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, committed suicide.