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ISIS Likely Responsible For Extremist Gunfight At Egyptian Temple

An attack by jihadis at an Egyptian temple in Luxor on Wednesday was likely perpetrated by a local affiliate of the Islamic State.

One militant’s suicide vest was detonated, and two more stormed a barricade at Karnak temple before security officers killed one man and injured the other, <a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/11664436/Suicide-bomber-attacks-Egypts-Luxor-temple-tourist-site.html” target=”_blank”>according to The Telegraph</a>. No tourists were killed or injured during the attack, <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/10/world/middleeast/ap-ml-egypt.html” target=”_blank”>reports The Associated Press</a>.

“I would put the odds on it being the Islamic State,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism expert at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Sinai-based, militant group Beit al-Maqdis <a href=”http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/allegiance-isis-egypts-ansar-beit-al-maqdis-pledges-support-n246741″ target=”_blank”>pledged</a> allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last November. But no one has yet claimed responsibility for the temple attack.

“We’ll continue to see the targeting of tourist sites,” said Gartenstein-Ross. North African states, greatly dependent on the tourism industry, are especially vulnerable to attacks. Jihadis <a href=”http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/18/militants-kill-17-tourists-in-tunis-museum/” target=”_blank”>attacked</a> tourists at a Tunisian museum in March.

The temple attack is the second assault on Egyptian tourism sites in a week. Gunmen on a motorcycle <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/world/middleeast/egypt-policemen-attacked-giza-pyramids.html” target=”_blank”>shot</a> and killed two tourism police officers near the Giza pyramids last Wednesday.

This is the first major terrorist attack in Luxor since Islamic militants <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/10/world/middleeast/ap-ml-egypt.html” target=”_blank”>killed</a> 58 at Hatshepsut Temple in 1997.  Luxor, about 400 miles south of Cairo, is one of Egypt’s most popular tourist attractions, visited by millions every year.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Terrorist?src=hash”>#Terrorist</a> attack in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Luxor?src=hash”>#Luxor</a>'s <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Karnak?src=hash”>#Karnak</a> did not affect temple: Official <a href=”http://t.co/7ZUTwwnicW”>http://t.co/7ZUTwwnicW</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Egypt?src=hash”>#Egypt</a> <a href=”http://t.co/R96MF1Iq01″>pic.twitter.com/R96MF1Iq01</a></p>&mdash; Ahram Online (@ahramonline) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ahramonline/status/608613863131590656″>June 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Luxor?src=hash”>#Luxor</a> temple attack: Three gunmen killed and four bystanders injured – reports <a href=”http://t.co/1oaMTbvek1″>http://t.co/1oaMTbvek1</a> <a href=”http://t.co/HOetkI8WdS”>pic.twitter.com/HOetkI8WdS</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Egypt?src=hash”>#Egypt</a></p>&mdash; Nervana Mahmoud (@Nervana_1) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Nervana_1/status/608587913513857025″>June 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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