March 26, 2006

Egypt prosecutor charges 13 over Red Sea bombs

By Yusri Mohamed

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt's High State Security
Prosecutor charged 13 people during a court session on Sunday
of involvement in a series of blasts targeting Red Sea holiday

Two other people are already being tried over the series of
bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh in July last year and in Taba and
two other beach resorts in October 2004. The attacks killed
more than 100 people.

Egyptian prosecutors had originally charged three men over
the bombings but the one man charged in absentia, Mohamed Ahmed
Saleh Fulayfel, was killed in a gun battle with police.

"The accused formed a terrorist organization ... which
carried out the explosions in Taba, Nuweiba and participated in
perpetrating the attack in Sharm el-Sheikh," prosecution lawyer
Hisham Badawi said.

Badawi said the group proclaimed the Egyptian leadership
religiously illegitimate and targeted foreign tourists. The
accused denied the charges and said they confessed under

The case is scheduled to resume on May 27.

Several men the authorities have said were wanted in the
case have died in gun battles with the police in Egypt's Sinai

The Egyptian authorities say the bombers were Sinai
bedouin, some of them with Palestinian connections, but that it
does not believe they had any outside connections.

The authorities have previously said they suspect the group
behind the bombings was also behind a blast in August that
damaged a multinational observer force vehicle.