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In August, Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi flew to Luxor to encourage tourism there, about a month after he took office and vowed that Egypt was safe for tourists.
"Egypt is safer than before, and is open for all," he said in remarks carried by the official MENA news agency at the time. He was referring to the security situation following the 2011 ouster of autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.
Deadly accidents caused by poor management and a decrepit infrastructure have taken place since Morsi took office. In January, 19 Egyptian conscripts died when their rickety train jumped the track. In November, 49 kindergarteners were killed when their school bus crashed into a speeding train because the railway guard failed to close the crossing.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful political force and Morsi’s base of support, blames accidents on a culture of negligence fostered by Mubarak.
Associated Press writers Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong, Jill Lawless in London and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.
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