A Belgian man seriously wounded in a knife attack while on holiday in Egypt described how close he came to death in an interview from his hospital bed late Thursday.
“He cut my throat, he wanted to kill me,” Philippe Lenders, 28, told AFP by telephone from a Cairo hospital.
Lenders said his attacker had looked at him in a funny way before attacking him three times from behind as he was visiting a village, a popular tourist spot, in the southern region of Aswan on Tuesday.
“He looked at me in a strange way, but said nothing at all to me,” he added.
“I didn’t understand (what had happened). I passed out briefly, but I held on,” he said.
His assailant was overpowered by local people, he added.
The interior ministry said on Tuesday that police had arrested the alleged attacker, Ahmed Tawfiq Mohammed, who they said was a 33-year-old man with a history of mental instability.
Lenders, from Brussels, was travelling with members of his family and a group of tourists with a tour guide when the attack happened.
Initially treated at a local hospital, he was airlifted in a military plane to Cairo for treatment to a severed artery in his right arm.
Lenders said he hoped to be able to be flown home to Belgium if he was strong enough to make the journey.
The ministry said that the suspect was a teacher who had been fired from a school affiliated with Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the leading seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, and had claimed to be a prophet.