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Wednesday, November 19, 1997 Published at 11:35 GMT


What happened at Luxor?

Tourists shown in white forced to flee into the temple pursued by gunmen shown in red

A dozen planes are arriving in Britain packed with tourists evacuated from Egypt after Monday's massacre.

Six British people were among the 58 holidaymakers murdered by Moslem fanatics. Among them were a five-year-old girl, her mother and grandmother.

There's still no definitive account of what happened, but from eyewitness reports it appears as many as ten gunmen arrived at the Temple of Hatshepsut near Luxor in taxis.

After killing two security guards, one group approached the crowded temple steps and opened fire. This forced many of the tourists to flee into the temple complex, where they were trapped. A second terrorist group then turned to attack people arriving at the complex on buses.

[ image: Tourists are flooding out of Egypt]
Tourists are flooding out of Egypt
British holidaymakers arriving back at Gatwick have spoken of their relief at having escaped the massacre. Many had been just a few hundred yards away from the scene of the shootings.

Karen Dean, from Coventry, who was with a party from Warwick University, said she had hidden in a tomb, called the Sennejem, with other members of her group when the gunfire started. "It wasn't really apparent to us what was going on at first, although I think our guides knew straight away that there was trouble," she said.

"We were about a mile away when it all started happening. We heard shots and then we were told to go into the tomb, so we didn't see very much. Some of us went back up again after a while, but then the shooting started again. Some policemen had arrived at the tomb and they started firing back.

"There was a lot of gunfire and a lot of noise. We could tell the policemen were frightened and some of them were sent off into the hills with pistols."

While tourists hid in the temple, policemen and security guards fought with the gunmen for two hours. Six gunmen were killed.

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