August 7, 2017 / 4:59 PM / 2 years ago

Egypt transfers Red Sea knife attacker to mental hospital - state news agency

A general view of Naama bay and a swimming pool of a hotel during sunset in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, November 7, 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s top national security prosecutor has ordered the transfer of an Egyptian man who stabbed three foreign tourists to death at a Red Sea resort in July to a mental hospital for psychiatric evaluation, state news agency MENA said on Monday.

Security sources told Reuters that Abdel Rahman Shaban Abokorah had tried to join Islamic State and investigators had initially recommended he face charges of terrorism, in what was the first major attack on foreign tourists since a similar assault on the same resort more than a year ago.

Abokorah was caught by hotel staff and arrested after he killed two German women and a Czech woman and wounded three other tourists.

He will remain under psychiatric evaluation for 45 days, MENA reported.

The attack came as Egypt struggles to revive tourism, which has suffered from security threats and years of political upheaval.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government is battling an Islamist insurgency that has killed hundreds of troops and police in northern Sinai and has started to attack other parts of Egypt.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Gareth Jones

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