On Saturday a suicide bomber, identified as Ihab Yusri Yassin, blew himself up as he jumped off a bridge into a square near the popular Egyptian Museum, killing four tourists and three Egyptians.

“It was primitive. It was full of nails and the most of the injuries is related to the destruction by the nails,” said Egyptian Health Minister Mohammed Awad Tag Eddin.

Less than an hour after the nail bomb exploded, Yassin’s wife and sister opened fire on a busload of Israeli tourists in the city’s south – no one was injured in the attack.

The wife died of gunshot wounds inflicted by the sister, who committed suicide at the scene.

It’s believed this is the first attack carried out by women in Egypt.

Egyptian authorities have since cordoned off the area around the museum and have reinforced barricades around the US embassy.

They believe the three militants are linked to an attack on a Cairo bazaar that killed three tourists three weeks ago.

In raids in the city’s north, police arrested 200 people for questioning.

The attacks have raised fears of a return to the Islamist violence of the 1990s, but Egypt’s Prime Minister Dr Ahmed Nazif disagrees.

“I do not think any Egyptian agrees with such incidents which destabilise security and attempt to threaten the Egyptian society and one of the sources of its livelihood, which is tourism,” he told Egyptian television.

“I do not think this will be a pattern in Egypt. I am positive that our society and the security services are able to maintain security and safety.”

In October 34 people died in bomb attacks at the Taba Hilton hotel near the Israeli border and at two popular beaches in the south.