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Tourists targeted in Cairo

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Attacks on tourist targets in Cairo worry foreigners and the government.
• Attacks on foreigners in Egypt
Cairo (Egypt)

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- Two veiled woman shot at a tourist bus, while a man blew himself up, in two attacks against tourists in Cairo that left the three assailants dead and seven people wounded.

In the first attack on Saturday afternoon, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Egyptian museum in the central part of the capital, killing himself and wounding seven others.

Three Egyptians, two Israelis, a Swede and an Italian were hurt after the man jumped off an overpass and blew himself up with a nail-filled bomb at one of the most popular destinations in the capital.

Remains of a body, covered with newspapers, were seen beneath the bridge a few minutes after the explosion was heard through downtown Cairo. News agency photos showed the body lying in a pool of blood, its head destroyed in the blast.

Less than an hour later, two veiled women opened fire on the back of a tourist bus in south central Cairo and missed. Authorities say they then shot each other dead.

Authorities believe the bomber in the first attack was Ihab Yousri Yaseen, who is seen as a suspect in an April 7 Cairo bombing that killed three people.

The women attackers were Yaseen's sister Nagah, and his girlfriend Ayman Ibrahim Khamis, they added.

Nagah died on the spot and Khamis later died on arrival at the hospital.

After the first attack, dozens of onlookers watched police pick up nails scattered at the scene.

While security had been boosted in front of the museum after a bombing earlier this month, the back of the museum, where people catch taxis and buses was largely unguarded.

Despite Egypt's many attractions as a tourist destination, visitors are beginning to worry.

"I've enjoyed my time in Egypt but this bombing has made me a little nervous, especially because it is right near the museum. If more people were killed I would be very afraid and I would probably go home," one Australian tourist told Reuters news agency.

Reacting to the attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement advising Americans "to avoid tourist areas in Cairo until the Embassy is able to make an assessment of the security situation in Cairo. Americans should be exceedingly careful and maintain a heightened awareness of their surroundings."

Tourism is Egypt's biggest foreign currency earner.

In the 1990s Egypt suffered from a series of bloody attacks against tourists as Islamic insurgents tried to cripple tourism and bring down the government.

But the attacks tapered off until the calm was shaken last October when militants detonated bombs in the Sinai resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan, killing 34 people and wounding more than 100. One bomb destroyed a wing of the Taba Hilton Hotel.

Police said the mastermind was a Palestinian resident of Egypt who was angry with Israel. More than 10 Israeli tourists were among the dead.

Then on April 7, a suicide bomber killed two French citizens, an American and himself when he detonated a homemade bomb near the Khan al-Khalili market.

CNN's Ben Wedeman in Cairo contributed to this report

Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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