Egypt blasts were 'suicide attacks'

Three bombs that exploded in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Dahab leaving at least 23 people dead were the work of suicide bombers, the governor of the south Sinai region has said.

    Foreign tourists were injured in the attack

    Egyptian television had earlier reported that Monday's blasts, which also wounded 62 people, were caused by remote controlled devices.

    "The explosions were a bit weaker than the previous ones, but now they are using suicide attacks," said Muhammad Hani.

    Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, described the attacks as a "heinous act of terrorism" and vowed to punish those responsible.

    Multiple attacks

    Three foreigners were among those killed, including a German boy, the Egyptian interior ministry said.

    "There was a plume of smoke and people started running and  screaming."

    French tourist Frederic Mingeon

    The wounded included people from Denmark, Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea, the US, Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

    The Dahab attacks are the third directed at Sinai since October 2004, when 34 people died in simultaneous blasts at hotels in Taba, on the border with Israel.

    In July 2005, 70 people were killed in multiple bombings in the southern Sinai resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.

    The Egyptian authorities attributed those attacks to a small, Sinai-based group founded by a militant Islamist of Palestinian origin.

    Screaming

    Three explosions ripped through two restaurants and a supermarket in an area of Dahab, popular with tourists at around 0415 GMT on Monday.

    Witnesses said shop windows and furniture were smashed and pools of blood lay on the floor. People had abandoned restaurants in mid-meal and fled from the scene.

    Shops and stalls were destroyed
    by the blast

    "We heard three explosions close to the  seafront alongside a supermarket in the centre of Dahab," said French tourist Frederic Mingeon.
      
    "There was a plume of smoke and people started running and  screaming."
     
    "We ran towards the scene and we found people, our friends, lying on the ground. some were already dead," said Hani Sadeq, who worked at a local shop.

    "Some were alive, with arms broken. We took them to the hospital. we want to know why this happened, I wish we knew who did it. If I saw him, I would tear him apart.

    "Dahab is dead now," he added.

    The town is a beach and diving destination popular with foreign backpackers and Egyptians - who were celebrating  the Egyptian spring festival of Shamm al-Nassim.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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