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Three Blasts Hit Dahab, Egypt

Updated

Three blasts rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab, Egypt today.

From Haaretz:

Three explosions rocked the Sinai resort city of Dahab on Monday night leaving at least 100 dead and wounded, according to the doctor who runs Egypt's rescue squad in the peninsula.


Dr. Said Essa said he was headed to the scene of the blasts, one of which hit the el-Mashrabiyah Hotel.

Al-Jazeera reported at least 12 people were killed.

One blast hit a hotel, a second a restaurant and the third explosion rocked the resort town's market area.

There were no immediate reports of any Israelis casualties. There are not large numbers of Israelis tourists in Sinai at this time of year.

An Egyptian Interior Ministry official confirmed there had been explosions but said he had no further information. "There were explosions but the picture is still not clear," he said.

Police officials said more than 20 ambulances and police cars were rushing to the el-Masbat section of Dahab's old city. Smoke was rising from the area.

The explosions were heard about 7:15 p.m. local time (1715 GMT), the witness said.

"There is smoke coming from the area and there are people running everywhere," said the witness, who did not want to be named.

Body parts and debris were seen in the streets after an explosion in a tourist restaurant, other residents said. One visitor said cars and buses leaving the resort were being stopped by police.

"There were body parts and debris in the street ... There are ambulances and cars taking people to hospital," said another resident who also did not want to be named.

Last July, at least 60 people, including foreigners, were killed and more than 200 were wounded when two car bombs and a suitcase bomb ripped through hotels and shopping areas in Sinai's Sharm el-Sheikh.

Dahab is located on on the Gulf of Aqaba on the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula. Monday is part of a five-day spring holiday in Egypt.

From Fox:

CAIRO, Egypt -- Three explosions Monday night rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab at the height of the tourist season, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 150 at just one hotel, according to the doctor who runs Egypt's Sinai Peninsula rescue squad.


Dr. Said Essa said he was headed to the scene of the blasts and that his casualty figures were for victims at the el-Khaleeg Hotel only. He said there were casualties at the scene of the other blasts, but he had no details.

Al-Jazeera television said one of the explosions hit a restaurant.

There have been a string of attacks in Egypt's Sinai peninsula over 18 months, including deadly Al Qaeda-style bombings in the Egyptian resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan in October 2004 and in Sharm el-Sheik in July.

Groups claiming links to Al Qaeda took responsibility for those attacks, and Egyptian authorities say new Islamic militant groups have arisen in the peninsula -- but they are still trying to determine if they have any real connection to Al Qaeda or other international terrorists.

This is high tourist season in the region, and hotels all along the Egyptian coasts could be expected to be at near capacity.

Police officials said more than 20 ambulances and police cars were rushing to the el-Masbat section of the city.

From Reuters:

CAIRO (Reuters) - Three explosions shook the Egyptian Sinai resort of Dahab on Monday and smoke could be seen rising from the town's tourist bazaar, witnesses said.


At least 12 people were killed and more than 90 were wounded, Al Jazeera television reported.

"The victims and the wounded are being taken to hospitals," Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo told the Doha-based television.

Residents said they saw body parts and debris on the street after an explosion at a restaurant.

A local emergency services official said he knew of five dead and 60 wounded. "We have five killed and 60 wounded so far ... The number is likely to rise," said the official, who did not want to be named.

"There is smoke coming from the area and there are people running everywhere," said the witness, who did not want to be named. The explosions were heard about 7:15 p.m. local time (1315 EDT) on Monday, part of a five-day spring holiday in Egypt, the witness said.

A interior ministry official confirmed there had been explosions but said he had no further information. "There were explosions but the picture is still not clear," he said.

Body parts and debris were seen in the streets after an explosion in a tourist restaurant, other residents said. One visitor said cars and buses leaving the resort were being stopped by police.

"There were body parts and debris in the street ... There are ambulances and cars taking people to hospital," said another resident who also did not want to be named.

Last July, at least 60 people, including foreigners, were killed and more than 200 were wounded when two car bombs and a suitcase ripped through hotels and shopping areas in Egypt's tourist area of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Update: The Jerusalem Post is also reporting:

Thirty people were killed and at least 150 were wounded, including three Israelis, in three massive explosions in Dahab, on the east of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, on Monday night.


People were frantically trying to escape the area and dozens of ambulances were at the scene.

The bombs were apparently placed on a bridge, in the El-Khalheeg Hotel cafeteria and near a police station prior to the explosions.

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, expressing his support.

Olmert told Mubarak that Israel and Egypt needed to cooperate in the fight against international terror.

Mubarak described the incident as a "terror attack."

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that he ordered the IDF to offer Egypt rescue and medical assistance. Egyptian authorities turned down the offer, saying that Israel's help was not required.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but a high ranking Israeli security official recently told the Jerusalem Post that the al-Qaida movement was operating a mere 30 kilometers south of Israel.

Following the blasts Israel's security forces raised the level of alert in Eilat and closed the Taba border crossing. OC Home Front Command rescue teams were put on standby.

Authorities at the Israel-Egypt border received orders to allow any Israeli to cross from Sinai even without an Israeli passport.

The Foreign Ministry opened an emergency hotline and set up a situation room for Israelis wishing to contact friends and relations in Sinai. The number is 02 530 3155.

Israeli ambassador Shalom Cohen told Israel Radio said that he was in direct contact with Egyptian officials but, as far as he knew, there were no Israeli casualties in the attack.

The Sinai resort is commonly frequented by Israeli holidaymakers and is located on the Gulf of Aqaba on the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula.

Germans, Italians and British tourists were also reported to be in the area.

Update II: Counterterrorism Blog has a lot of expert analysis on the tragedy.


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Comments (10)

Let me save the lefties som... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

Let me save the lefties some time and trouble:

BUSH'S FAULT! BUSH'S FAULT! BUSH'S FAULT!

HALLIBURTON!

There. It's been said.

Now, for serious discussion: why are islamo-fascist groups (I presume such is the case) blowing up fellow muslims in Egypt? Not sufficiently anti-Israel / anti-US enough? What do they hope to achieve with this kind of thing? Or, since this is a "resort" city, were they targetting foreigners?

practioners of peace? I jus... (Below threshold)

practioners of peace? I just love what the Islamic world has given the rest of us..

If the US hadn't invaded Eg... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

If the US hadn't invaded Egypt, this never would have happened. Bring our troops home now! No more blood for dates! The Egyptians were better off under their elected leader!

Ooooooooooops. Sorry. I got carried away. I started channeling some random left-winger that has no clue what he is talking about.

Hey, but don't anyone DARE ... (Below threshold)

Hey, but don't anyone DARE to call those terrorists [strike that)
militants[strike that]
dissidents "evil".

We must realize that they are just misunderstood.

For a second there you had ... (Below threshold)
virgo:

For a second there you had me thinking Steve, that You were Mak44 already checking in.

You beat me to it Doc! thats the first thing i thought of when i heard about this, BUSH did it! He,s trying to drive speculators into an even higher frenzy on wallstreet for Cheneyburtons sake.

This is really illuminatin... (Below threshold)
virgo:

This is really illuminating when you replace the rather crude albeit deadly explosives being used to kill a couple hundred here and there, with a nuclear device and you see how scary that Nutcase in Iran really is.

This act of terrorism comes... (Below threshold)
BigCatGirl:

This act of terrorism comes a day after the newest OBL video tape has come out. Could it be that OBL has given new encouragement to a new wave of terror?

And DailyKos is all over th... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

And DailyKos is all over the reporting on this event.

Not.

virgo wrote (April 2... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

virgo wrote (April 24, 2006 04:25 PM):

This is really illuminating when you replace the rather crude albeit deadly explosives being used to kill a couple hundred here and there, with a nuclear device and you see how scary that Nutcase in Iran really is.

Well, to some of us, anyway.

That really opens up an interesting train of thought: aside from the obligatory attempt to blame Bush for this, what DO lefties think of this kind of thing? Does it frighten them? Give them even a moment of pause to think, "Wow... What if that was Manhattan or Seattle or San Francisco?"

Or are they so consumed with hatred of the right in general and Bush in particular that it never occurs to them that attacks of this sort in America is EXACTLY what OBL and his ilk want to cause?

Why do we care? As long as ... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Why do we care? As long as they stay out they can kill each other all they want.




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