CAIRO -- An Islamist group claimed responsibility for a bus bombing that killed an Egyptian and three South Korean tourists, Egypt's state TV reported Tuesday.
The Al Qaeda-linked group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or Partisans of Jerusalem, also warned tourists to stay away from Egypt after Thursday.
"We recommend tourists to get out safely before the expiry of the deadline," the group said in a Twitter post written in English.
The bus carrying the South Korean tourists was heading from St. Catherine's Monastery in the south Sinai Peninsula toward Israel, and the bomb was detonated at the border resort town of Taba.
A preliminary investigation indicated that a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt boarded the bus during its stop at the border crossing, Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdul Latif said.
In addition to its tweet, the militant group sent a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.
"Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has successfully sacrificed one of its heroes to detonate the bus headed toward the Zionists, and this comes as part of our economic war against this regime of traitors," the group said.The attack, the first to target foreign tourists since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, comes as a massive blow to Egyptian tourism.
The industry, which accounts for at least 11% of the country's economy, has been struggling to recover since the 2011 revolution and the recurrent political instabilities that followed.
Hassan is a special correspondent