Terrorism grips Egypt prior to the start of the tourist season

The recent blast in Egypt's capital killed three and injured 18

The tourist industry of Egypt has recently had to experience another powerful blow. Everybody remembers a series of explosions, which rocked Egyptian hotels on October 8th, 2004. Thirty-four citizens of Egypt, Israel, Italy and Russia died in the explosion near Hilton Hotel in the town of Taba. Two more explosions took place in the town of Nuvejba, south off Taba.

Another bomb exploded in Cairo yesterday, in one of the city's main tourist markets, not far from the Al-Azhar University. The police of Cairo said that the blast killed a French and an American tourist. Nineteen other people were injured in the explosion: ten Egyptians, two Turks, two Americans, two Italians, two Frenchmen and a British citizen.

Spokespeople for the Egyptian authorities rejected the information about the killing of an American tourist, although it was added that the authorities did not have the precise information about the number of the victims.

It became known later, though, that the Cairo blast killed four people and injured 20. A spokesman for the US embassy said that there were three American citizens among the wounded.

The US embassy sent a letter to tourist guides and hotel administrations, in which American tourists were staying. It was particularly recommended for US tourists not to leave their hotels until details of the terrorist attack were determined.

For the time being there is no information about the reasons of the explosion in Cairo. Eyewitnesses say that a suicide terrorist blew up his bomb, while he was riding his motorcycle, whereas other people say that the terrorist threw a bomb in the crowd.

Sergei Stepanov from the Russian embassy in Cairo stated that there was no information received about Russian citizens, who could suffer from the latest terrorist act in Egypt.

According to the US embassy in Egypt, an American citizen died of wounds yesterday. Three people were therefore killed and 19 injured in the Cairo blast. The list of victims includes a French woman and a man, whose nationality has not been identified yet.

The government of Egypt has a very big goal to pursue at the moment, not to let the number of tourists drop on the threshold of the coming spring and summer.

AFP photo

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Author`s name Olga Savka