Three to go on trial over Sinai blasts

Three Egyptian men suspected of having carried out deadly bombings on tourist resorts in the Sinai peninsula last October are to go on trial.

The Hilton hotel in Taba was bombed on 7 October 2004
The Hilton hotel in Taba was bombed on 7 October 2004

Mohammed Gaiez al-Sabah and Mohammed Rubaa Addallah, both already behind bars, will appear before an emergency state security court in Ismailiya, north of Cairo, on Saturday.


Mohammed Ahmed Salah Felifel, who is still at large, will be tried in absentia.


According to official figures, 34 people, including several Israeli tourists, were killed and more than 10 wounded in triple bomb attacks on the Hilton hotel in Taba and two other neighbouring resorts on 7 October.


The three suspects are charged with “premeditated murder, failure to surrender themselves, determination to assassinate Israeli tourists … terrorism and resisting the authorities during arrests,” according to judiciary sources quoted by Egypt’s official MENA news agency.

They belong to a small, isolated group loyal to the Palestinian and Egyptian bombers who perished outside the Hilton, the authorities say.


The interior ministry has said 10 people were involved in the bombings, some of whom were arrested and others killed.




Protests have been staged against arbitrary detentions

Protests have been staged
against arbitrary detentions

But several thousands of Bedouins – women, children and elderly people – have been rounded up by police in the Sinai, according to rights groups, prompting female relatives to stage a string of protests against what they say are arbitrary detentions.


Clashes between Egyptian security forces and suspects in the centre of the Sinai peninsula left a policeman and an armed man dead after a major police operation in the area in mid-June.


 A few days after the incident, Egyptian security forces said they were giving up the hunt for a group of heavily armed men after they disappeared into the rugged mountains of the central Sinai desert.




Despite warnings by their government and fresh attacks on tourists in Cairo in April, Israeli holidaymakers continue to cross the border into Egypt‘s Red Sea peninsula.


“We have no interest in Israelis getting hurt, and we are doing the maximum to prevent terrorist operations”

Hosni Mubarak,
Egyptian president

Nearly 30,000 were reported to have vacationed there during the week-long Jewish Passover holiday in May.


Israeli authorities issued yet another warning early last month not to travel to the Sinai during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. That was also ignored.


And Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak revealed in late June that his security forces had smashed a cell that was planning to attack Israelis vacationing in the Sinai.


“Two of the cell members were killed in clashes with the Egyptian security forces, and two others were captured. We have no interest in Israelis getting hurt, and we are doing the maximum to prevent terrorist operations,” the veteran leader told Israel‘s mass circulation Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

Source : AFP

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