Egyptians protest over Sinai blasts

More than 1000 Egyptian hotel workers, beduin shaikhs and foreign dive school instructors, together with foreign tourists, have marched through Sharm al-Shaikh to condemn bombs that killed 88 in the Red Sea resort.

    The protesters demanded that terrorism should stop

    "There is no God but God, and terrorism is the enemy of God," chanted the Egyptian protesters, including hotel chefs, technicians and road sweepers, as they marched along the main road of Sharm al-Shaikh, hit by three bombs on Saturday.

    "The feeling is very sad and very angry. We are not going to be scared by the bombers," said Sharif Saba, an Egyptian investor in the diving and beach resort.

    Protesters marched on Sunday into the night, waving Egyptian flags and holding aloft signs in Arabic, English, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

    "We will not be terrorised," read one banner. Hotel chefs marched with "Stop terrorism" written on their hats. Dive school employees had the same slogan printed on their T-shirts.

    Funeral prayers

    Egyptians from all over the
    country work at the resort

    The protesters said funeral prayers for the dead at the car park where one of the bombs exploded. Several placed flowers on a car splattered with blood of the victims, who were mostly Egyptian.

    "People are against those who did this. They have no religion and are not from us, neither as beduin or Egyptians. It's a cowardly act," said Salih Muhammad, a south Sinai beduin wearing flowing robes and a lilac headscarf.

    Egyptians come from all over the country to work in Sharm al-Shaikh. Resort workers are worried the attacks will scare off tourists, who provide employment for more than a million people.

    Visitor numbers to the Red Sea resort and the rest of Egypt dipped after militants killed 58 tourists in Luxor in 1997. The industry was also hit by the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

    One group has claimed responsibility for the Sharm al-Shaikh attacks in an internet statement, but analysts doubt its credibility.

    "We don't want them here. No country accepts them," said Hajja Nasra, a fully covered beduin woman dressed in black.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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