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Islamic State says Cairo attack was response to leader’s call to target Jews (Updated)

Islamic State said on Friday its members had carried out an attack on Israeli tourists in Cairo in response to a call by the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to target Jews “everywhere”.

The group said in a statement released on the Internet that light arms were used in the attack, which took place on Thursday outside a Cairo hotel.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry has said the attack was directed at security forces and was carried out by a member of a group of people who had gathered near the hotel and fired bird shot.

Security sources said the tourists were Israeli Arabs.

Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate is waging an insurgency based in the Sinai which has mostly targeted soldiers and policemen.

The tourism industry – a vital source of hard currency in Egypt – is highly sensitive to attacks by militants which have slowed a recovery from years of political turmoil.

Militant violence has been rising since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

Hundreds of members of the security forces have been attacked in suicide bombings and shootings, which persist despite the toughest crackdown on militants in Egypt’s history.

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