Aljazeera's correspondent in Egypt Samir Omar said on Tuesday that the Egyptian Interior Ministry had been investigating the possible involvement of nine Pakistanis in the bombing, but dropped that lead after getting new information.

 

Tests done on the DNA of the parents of the main suspect in last year's Taba explosions, Muhammad Fulaifil, have been found to be similar to the DNA of one of the Sharm al-Shaikh bombers.

 

The Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan confirmed earlier on Tuesday that no Pakistanis were involved in the bombings.

"No Pakistani national was involved in the terrorist attacks that rocked Sharm al-Shaikh late last Saturday," the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad said in a statement.

Ambassador Husayn Haridy said he informed the Pakistani government late on Monday of Egypt's conclusion.

Earlier investigations

Egyptian police investigators said on Monday that they were searching for six Pakistani men, and circulated photographs of the six who had apparently been missing since before the attacks at checkpoints in and around Sharm al-Shaikh.

Haridy said Egyptian police were searching for six Pakistanis, but said the search was not related to the blasts that killed at least 88 people.

"What happened is that the six Pakistani citizens arrived in Egypt within a group ... and they disappeared after that. So as a routine security check, we are trying to locate them"

Husayn Haridy,
Egyptian envoy to Pakistan

"What happened is that the six Pakistani citizens arrived in Egypt within a group, and then they left their six passports at the hotel where they were staying, and they disappeared after that," Haridy said. "So as a routine security check, we are trying to locate them."

The Egyptian embassy statement quoted Haridy as saying that "at no time did the Egyptian government accuse Pakistanis of involvement in these attacks".

New claim

Meanwhile, a third previously unknown Islamist group posted an internet statement on Tuesday claiming the weekend's deadly bombings at the Red Sea resort.

The Unity and Jihad Group in Egypt said it carried out the attacks "in revenge for our brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan ... and in response to the war against terror".
  
"It was also out of loyalty to the leaders of the mujahidin within the al-Qaida network, Shaikh Osama bin Laden and Shaikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God preserve them," said the statement, the authenticity of which could not be verified.
  
The group said it also carried out bombings in October last year that killed 34 people in three resorts further up the Sinai coast but withheld that "first statement" for "security reasons".

"We are now in a better situation which allows us to claim our second operation ... in Sharm al-Shaikh, which we chose to carry out to defy the security services of tyranny which already proved their incompetence during the praiseworthy blasts in Taba".

Two other groups already claimed responsibility, the al-Qaida Organisation in the Levant and Egypt, and Mujahidin Egypt.