Tragedy remembered

SHOCKING revelations about the Luxor massacre, in which three generations of a Calderdale family were gunned down, have been uncovered.

A BBC 2 programme, to be broadcast at 9 pm on Sunday, has explored links between the atrocity and Osama Bin Laden. It asks if anything could have been done to prevent the tragedy in Egypt.

Three members of the Turner family of Ripponden were visiting the Temple of Hatshepsut near the Valley of Kings on November 17, 1997, when they and 59 other tourists were gunned down by Islamic terrorists.

"Correspondent Special - Massacre in Luxor" also reveals that, after the massacre, the Islamic extremists vowed to end attacks on tourists in Egypt. But splinter groups have since joined forces with Osama Bin Laden.

Investigators discovered the gunmen were not shot by security forces, but the massacre was in fact one of the first suicide attacks in the name of Islam.

The programme also uncovers that the Islamic extremists had sent a warning to a news agency for foreign tourists to avoid Egypt, just a month before the incident. Five-year-old Shaunnah Turner, a pupil at St Mary's Junior and Infant School, Mill Bank, her mum Karina, 24, and grandmother Joan, 53, died instantly when they were shot by terrorists disguised as Egyptian policemen.

Other victims were Japanese, Swiss, French, German, Colombian and Egyptian.

The six-strong BBC team, who were all multi-lingual, spent three weeks in Egypt with family and friends of the victims making the programme in October.

Shaunnah's grandmother, Jean Dawson, of Law Lane, Southowram, made the emotional journey to Luxor with John Laycock, Karina's boyfriend. The families of victims from Switzerland and Japan are filmed visiting the exact location their loved ones perished. They are also shown meeting Egyptian officials, who agreed for a memorial to be erected in the centre of Luxor.

People from Calderdale had signed a petition calling for the memorial. It was presented at the meeting.


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