Thirteen other prisoners linked to the bombing were released earlier, an Aljazeera reporter in Cairo said.

Official news reports say only three detainees remain behind bars, but a committee in charge of the defence of prisoners and families of the prisoners put the number at hundreds.

Protests

Mothers of some prisoners stormed a local council in northern Sinai governorate to demand the release of their sons.

Dozens of men and young women also protested against the inaccurate figures of people still in detention and urged the release of their loved ones.

"I call on the Egyptian people, through Aljazeera channel, to urge the release of all detainees of Sinai citizens, as I call on them to defend the release of Taysir Alluni," said the relative of an inmate, referring to the Aljazeera reporter who is under arrest in Spain.

"I appeal to all Egyptians to press the government to release the detainees of northern Sinai," he said.

Taba explosions

On 7 October 2004, three bomb blasts shook Egyptian resorts where Israelis were vacationing during Jewish holidays, killing 34 people and wounding 105.

The most powerful explosion hit the 400-room Hilton hotel at Taba, a Red Sea resort just across Egypt's border with Israel.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks.