Ten Mexicans and Egyptians were also injured and are being treated in a local hospital. Egyptian Ministry said it had formed a team to investigate the incident.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto condemned the incident and demanded an exhaustive investigation by the Egyptian government. Mexican Foreign ministry confirmed that at least two of its nationals had been killed and the identities of the other victims were being confirmed.
The group of tourists was preparing to camp out in the vast Western Desert when they came under encounter. Security forces were pursuing Islamic militants in the desert, and targeted four vehicles which were away from the main road with an Apache helicopter, which shot and hit the vehicles. The vast Western Desert area is popular with foreign sightseers, but is also attractive to militants.
Tour company transporting the tourists apparently did not have permits and did not inform authorities, but this information has yet to be validated.