Egypt's western desert
A four-wheel drive car crosses the Egyptian western desert and the Bahariya Oasis, southwest of Cairo in this picture taken May 15, 2015. Egyptian security forces killed 12 Mexicans and Egyptians and injured 10 "by accident" on Monday, mistaking a tourist convoy for militants they were chasing in the country's western desert, the ministry of interior said. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egyptian authorities accidentally killed at least a dozen Mexican tourists and their guides during an anti-terrorism operation in the country’s western desert Egypt's interior ministry said. Ten Mexicans and Egyptians were also wounded and taken to a local hospital for treatment, the ministry said in a statement obtained by news agencies Monday local time.

The tourists were traveling in four buses and entered a “banned area” in the Wahat region of the Western Desert when police and armed forces pursuing terrorists mistakenly attacked their convoy, BBC News reports.

Egypt’s interior ministry claimed it was illegal for the tourists to be in that area. The ministry added that it had formed a team to investigate the circumstances of the attack, according to the Guardian.

"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," the ministry said in the statement, according to the Guardian. "The incident resulted in the death of 12 Mexicans and Egyptians, and the injury of 10 others, who have been transferred to hospitals.”