14 Sep 2015

Egyptian security forces accidentally kill 12

1:48 pm on 14 September 2015

Security forces in Egypt have mistakenly killed 12 people, including Mexican tourists, during an anti-terror operation, the interior ministry says.

Egyptian tanks

Egyptian tanks (file photo). Photo: AFP

The tourists were travelling in four buses that entered a "banned area" in the Wahat area of the Western Desert, the ministry said in a statement.

Ten Mexicans and Egyptians were also injured and are being treated in a local hospital.

The ministry said it had formed a team to investigate the incident.

It said that those killed on Sunday were "dealt with" as part of an operation to pursue "terrorist elements" in the area.

The army operation came a day after militants claiming to be affiliated to the Islamic State group said they were present in the desert near the Libyan border.

The region is popular with tourists, but is also believed to be a militant hideout.