Muslim extremists threatened to attack foreigners who come to Cairo for next month's U.N. population conference, where they say immoral subjects will be discussed.
The threat from the al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, or Islamic Group, was contained in a fax sent to Western news agencies and obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.Police raided an Islamic Group hideout in southern Egypt on Saturday in a search for militants who sprayed a tour bus with gunfire a day earlier and killed a Spanish boy.
Five extremists and a police colonel were killed in the shootout, said the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for state security. A sixth extremist and an Egyptian soldier were wounded.
In its fax, the Islamic Group also claimed responsibility for the bus attack. The group has waged a 21/2-year campaign of violence to overthrow Egypt's secular government and replace it with Islamic rule.
Security has increased in Cairo in advance of the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development, which runs Sept. 5-13 and is expected to bring about 15,000 visitors to Egypt.
The government hopes the conference will help rebuild Egypt's tourist business, which has been devastated by the extremists' violent campaign.
Muslim fundamentalists oppose the conference's treatment of abortion, equal rights for women and sex education for unmarried people. Fundamentalist lawyers have filed suit trying to block the conference altogether.
The Islamic Group's statement warned that "all foreigners who are participating in the licentious conference . . . are jeopardizing themselves."
It added: "The Islamic Group starts a new stage in its attacks, it appeals to all foreigners not to come to Egypt in the coming period to save their souls."