September 13, 2015 9:28 PM EDT

At least twelve tourists from Mexico and their Egyptian guides were killed in Egypt Sunday by police and armed forces who apparently mistook them for “terrorist elements.”

The dozen killed, along with ten who were injured, were traveling in a convoy in the west of the country, Reuters reports. The Egyptian interior ministry said tourists should have been prohibited from being in the area.

The ministry released a statement on the deaths: “A joint force from the police and military, whilst chasing terrorist elements in the oasis area of the western desert tonight, accidentally engaged four four-wheel drives belonging to a Mexican tourist group.”

ISIS said earlier Sunday it had engaged with the Egyptian military in the western desert, an arid stretch of the Sahara that covers about two-thirds of Egypt’s landmass.



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