Chronology of major
terrorist attacks in Egypt
Backgrounder: Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian Red Sea resort
CAIRO, July 23 (Xinhuanet) -- Egyptian Interior
Minister Habib el-Adli said the death toll from the three bombings in Egypt's
Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday has risen to 59, the Qatari-based
Al-Jazeera Arab satellite TV channel reported.
over 150 people were injured in multi-explosions.
Emergency workers load a victim in an ambulance following an
explosion in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sham el-Sheik early Saturday July
Egypt's state news agency MENA quoted Mustafa Afifi,
governor of South Sinai province, as saying that one car bomb exploded in front
of the Ghazala Hotel in Naama Bay, the site of most of the resort's luxury
Another car bomb exploded in the old market in the
heart of Sharm el-Sheikh, about 6 km from Naama Bay.
A third explosion occurred in a car park at the
entrance to Naama Bay and it could have been a bag of explosives, he added.
This file photo dated
May 25, 2005, shows Egyptian tourist resort of Sharm
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the
Britons, French, Spaniards, Dutch, Qataris, Kuwaitis
and Egyptians were among the dead and wounded, said police sources.
Thirteen Italians and 15 other foreigners were among
the wounded, said a Tourism Ministry spokeswoman.
Police said earlier that four suspected car bombs
rocked the Sharm el-Sheikh bazaar and hotels at nearby Naama Bay.
The blasts caused huge casualties, and several
foreign tourists may be among the victims, they added.
Police sources said the first explosion took place
shortly after 1 a.m. local time (2200 GMT Friday) and minutes later other
explosions were heard from the direction of Naama Bay which hosts dozens of
luxury hotels popular with divers and holidaymakers from Europe.
Residents said the blasts were so powerful that the
shock couldbe felt 1 km away.
Windows closer to the blasts were blown out, fire and
smoke could be seen billowing over Sharm el-Sheikh, they said.
According to rescue teams on the scene, one of the
bombs went off inside Ghazala hotel and another destroyed part of a shopping
Pan-Arab Al-Arabiya TV reported that 13 security
guards and four security officials were on the list of the missing.
The blasts occurred as the popular Sinai resort was
at the peak of its summer tourist season. Tourism is a major source of revenues
and employment in Egypt.
Sharm el-Sheikh, advertised as the heart of the Red
Sea riviera, is very important for Egypt's tourism and role as as Middle East
Sitting at the southern tip of the Sinai desert,
Sharm el-Sheikh attracts some 2 million visitors to Egypt each year, mostly from
Europe and Israel.
For years, Sharm el-Sheikh has been the favorite
choice of President Hosni Mubarak to host Arab summits and foreign dignitaries.
In 2002, the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) honored the resort as a "City of Peace."
But the city is not so peaceful.
Bordering Israel, the Sinai Peninsula has become a
On Oct. 7, 2004, Islamic militants detonated bombs in
the Sinai resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan, killing 34 people, including several
Israelis, and wounding more than 100.
In January 2004, a charter flight bound for Paris
plunged into the Red Sea shortly after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport,
killing all 148 people on board, including 133 French tourists.
Initial investigation found that the crash was caused
by engine malfunction instead of terrorism. A final report is expected laterthis