|06CAIRO2437||2006-04-24 21:57:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Cairo|
1. (SBU) At around 1915 local time April 24, three bombs
exploded in the Sinai resort town of Dahab, approximately 80
KM north of Sharm el-Sheikh. An Egyptian Ministry of
Interior statement released approximately 2100 local put the
total number of dead at 10 and 70 injured. This number is
probably low and seems likely to rise. International media
are running with the figure of 29 dead and 160 injured. An
American citizen reached by the Embassy in Dahab hospital
confirmed she had counted ten bodies in the hospital's
2. (SBU) An Embassy emergency task force was convened within
90 minutes of the first reports and has reached Amcits
vacationing in Dahab. So far, consular officers are aware of
four injured Amcits - all are receiving medical treatment.
Both Egyptians and foreigners are reportedly among the dead.
The injured reportedly include Egyptians, at least four
Americans, as well as Germans, Italians, French, Danes,
Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans.
3. (SBU) The bombs took place at three separate sites in
Dahab - the Al Capone restaurant, the "wooden bridge" and the
Mashrabiya Market Place - all locations frequented by foreign
tourists. Egyptian TV is reporting that the bombs were
detonated remotely - not delivered by suicide bombers.
4. (SBU) So far there have been no reported claims of
responsibility. In mid-April, a State Security Prosecutor
told the media it had identified an organization known as
"Tawheed wa Jihad" (Unification and Holy War) as the group
responsible for the July 2005 Sharm el-Sheikh bombings and
asserted that all members of this group were in custody. On
April 19, the GOE announced it had arrested 22 members of
another group "The Victorious Sect" that was planning to
commit acts of terror.
5. (SBU) We note that this is the third major terrorist
incident in Sinai in the past year and a half and the third
to occur during a national holiday period - the attacks at
Taba and Nuweiba in 2004 occurred during the October 6
hoilday weekend, commemorating the 1973 war. The Sharm
el-Sheikh bombings occurred on July 23, 2005 - the
anniversary of the foundation of the Republic, and the April
24 attacks fell on the Egyptian cultural holiday Shem
an-Nassim and the day before "Sinai Evacuation Day" - the
anniversary of the restoration of Egyptian sovereignty over
the Sinai after Israel's withdrawal.