A bomb blast in a crowded tourist area in central Cairo killed a French tourist and wounded 20 others on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

A small bomb exploded in the main square in front of the Khan al Khalili bazaar at about 7 p.m. on Sunday in the Egyptian capital city, according to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. A second explosive device was discovered and detonated by police, the statement said. No American citizens were harmed.

The attack was in Hussein Square, which is adjacent to the Khan el-Khalili market and Hussein mosque, a major tourist destination in Cairo.

Hussein Square was full of tourists at the time of the attack, and witnesses described a loud blast, followed by chaos as tourists ran in every direction, the AP reported.

Tensions have increased in the region after the three-week conflict in Gaza last month.

"Travelers are reminded to remain alert to their surroundings and are reminded that crowded tourist areas have been the target of terrorist activities," the U.S. Embassy in Egypt warned. "Travelers should use caution when visiting destination resorts and hotels without significant physical setback and security procedures."

According to news reports, 13 French citizens, three Saudis and four Egyptians were wounded. A 17-year-old French woman was killed.

Egypt had been experiencing a period of relative calm in recent years, and consequently had seen increases in tourism numbers.

The latest attack comes more than 10 years after Egypt’s tourism industry was severely scarred when gunmen killed more than 60 tourists at Luxor in 1997. In 2006, 23 people were killed in blasts in Dahab.


In September, five Germans, five Italians and one Romanian were kidnapped, along with eight Egyptian guides and drivers. The hostages were released unharmed.

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