Author Topic: Islamic terrorists strike again in Egypt......  (Read 70 times)

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Islamic terrorists strike again in Egypt......
« on: July 23, 2005, 06:22:19 AM »
At least 83 have been killed......Allah will be very pleased.

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - A rapid series of car bombs and another blast ripped through a luxury hotel and a coffeeshop in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik early Saturday, killing at least 83, a hospital official said. Terrified European and Arab tourists fled into the night, and rescue workers said the death toll was almost certain to rise.

The attack, Egypt's deadliest terror attacks ever, appeared well coordinated. Two car bombs, possibly suicide attackers, went off simultaneously at 1:15 a.m. some 2.5 miles apart. A third bomb, believed hidden in a sack, detonated around the same time near a beachside walkway where tourists often stroll at night.

Several hours after the attack, a group citing ties to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the explosion on an Islamic web site.

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The group, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, al-Qaida, in Syria and Egypt, was one of two extremist groups that also claimed responsibility for October bombings at the Egyptian resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan that killed 34. The group also claimed responsibility for a Cairo bombing in late April.

'Clues' reveal possible link
The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified. But a top Egyptian official said there are some indications the latest bombings were linked to last fall's Taba explosions.

• EGYPT: Maps, facts and figures

"We have some clues, especially about the car that was exploded in the Old Market, and investigators are pursuing," said Interior Minister Habib al-Adli. He called it "an ugly act of terrorism."

Neighboring countries, the United States, Israel and others condemned the attacks. Neighboring Jordan said it was immediately tightening security at its tourist sites.

A total of 83 people had been confirmed dead, said Dr. Saeed Abdel Fattah, manager of the Sharm el-Sheik International Hospital where the victims were taken.

At least eight foreigners were among the dead, Al-Adli said. The dead included British, Dutch, Kuwaitis, Saudis and Qataris, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was giving information not yet included in the official statement.

Victims feared still buried
The death toll was likely to rise, rescue workers said. The lobby of the 176-room Ghazala Gardens hotel in Sharm's Naamah Bay, the main strip of hotels, collapsed into a pancaked pile of concrete. Rescue workers feared more victims were still buried under the rubble.

David Stewart, a tourist from from Liverpool, England, was staying with his wife and two teen-aged daughters at the Ghazala Gardens when the explosion hit. The windows of his room were smashed, and he and his family ran.

"Somebody shouted, 'Keep moving,"' he told AP. "The lights were out. I couldn't tell what was happening."

His family, like many others, fled toward the back of the hotel to take refuge in a grassy lawn near the pool. There, hundreds spent the night, some lying on pool mattresses.

On the other side of Sharm in the Old Market, a second car bomb in a minibus parking lot sent a ball of flaming wreckage shooting over a nearby beach and into the sea and littered the sand with body parts. Overturned chairs, broken waterpipes and pools of blood were scattered around the ravaged coffeeshop nearby, frequented by Egyptians who work in the resorts.

"The country's going to come to a stop. That's it!" sobbed Samir al-Mitwalli, who arrived in Sharm only a month ago to work as a driver. "Who's paying the price? ... Whoever did this wants to destroy the economy."

The string of attacks stunned a town that has long been dedicated to scuba diving at the famed coral reefs off its shores and partying on the beaches. Attacks strike vital tourism industry
Sharm el-Sheik has expanded at a furious pace in recent years, making it a major player in Egypt's vital tourism industry, drawing Europeans, Israelis and Arabs from oil-producing Gulf nations. President Hosni Mubarak has a residence there where he spends the winter, and the town has been the host to multiple summits for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The attacks last fall in Taba ended a long halt in militant violence. The last major attack was in 1997, when Islamic militants killed 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians at the Pharaonic Temple of Hatshepsut outside Luxor in southern Egypt. Saturday's violence was the deadliest since Islamic militant attacks began in Egypt in 1992.

There were signs that the bombings were by suicide attackers. Witnesses in the blast that hit the coffeeshop reported the attack vehicle was moving when it blew up, and the governor of South Sinai, Mustafa Afifi, said the car in the Ghazala attack broke through security into the front driveway of the hotel before exploding.

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Britain's ambassador to Egypt, Sir Derek Plumbly, told BBC radio that eight Britons were among the injured, but no British deaths had been confirmed. A senior U.S. official traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there were no reports of American casualties.

The attack that so far appeared to have killed the most foreign tourists was a bomb hidden in a sack that went off by the beach-side pedestrian walkway, killing six foreigners and an Egyptian, said a security official in Sharm, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Interior Ministry had not yet released that information.

Devastating damage
The far heavier damage was caused by the two car bombs, which sent flames and palls of smoke over Sharm and shook windows as far as a mile away.

The blast swept through the interior of the sprawling, low-built Ghazala hotel, shattering windows and shredding metal. Blood splattered some of the walls, and tree limbs from its gardens were strewn everywhere.

The blast at Old Market tore through a coffeeshop on the side of the minibus lot, killing at least 17 Egyptians who were sitting there, said a security official in the operations control room in Cairo monitoring the crisis.

More than eight hours later, the overturned shell of a minibus was still smoldering, near a large crater in the asphalt. Witnesses said the minibus was driving nearby when the explosives-laden vehicle swept into the lot, and the minibus driver tried to swerve to avoid the blast. The square's clock was stopped at the time of the explosion.

"This flaming mass flew over my head, faster than a torpedo, and plunged into the water," said Mursi Gaber, who at the time of the blast was putting up decorations on a nearby beach. "There were body parts all over the steps down to the beach."

"This is a security farce," said Omar Ezzideen, owner of a children's clothing store in a nearby mall whose windows were shattered by the blast. "How can something like this happen here? How could (explosives) enter here? The national economy is based on this."

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Re: Islamic terrorists strike again in Egypt......
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2005, 07:27:34 PM »
This proves that I was right, and you're a moron.