April 24, 2006

Twenty-two killed as blasts shake Egyptian resort

CAIRO (Reuters) - Three explosions shook the Egyptian Sinai
resort of Dahab on Monday, killing at least 22 people and
wounding 150, a security official said.

Witnesses said smoke could be seen rising from the town's
tourist bazaar, and residents said they saw body parts and
debris on the street after an explosion at a restaurant.

"It is twenty-two dead and 150 wounded ... There were three
explosions," said the official, who did not want to be named.
An official with the local ambulance service said many of the
dead appeared to be foreigners.

There have been several attacks in Egypt's Sinai peninsula
in the last two years. Dahab, a beach and diving center popular
with foreign tourists including Israelis, lies between Taba and
Sharm el-Sheikh where dozens of people were killed in bombings
in 2004 and 2005.

"There is smoke coming from the area and there are people
running everywhere," said one witness, who did not want to be
named. The explosions were heard about 7:15 p.m. local time
(1315 EDT) on Monday, part of a five-day spring holiday in
Egypt, the witness said.

"There were body parts and debris in the street ... There
are ambulances and cars taking people to hospital," said
another resident who also did not want to be named.

One visitor said cars and buses leaving the resort were
being stopped by police.

Officials in neighboring Israel said they were unaware of
any Israeli casualties in the explosions.

Last July, at least 60 people, including foreigners, were
killed and more than 200 were wounded when two car bombs and a
suitcase bomb ripped through hotels and shopping areas in Sharm
el-Sheikh, on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula.

In October 2004, bombings at the Taba Hilton hotel on
Egypt's border with Israel and two beaches further south killed
34 people.