Yemen condemns terrorist acts in Egypt [Archives:2006/941/Local News]

April 27 2006

SANA'A, April 26 ) Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh strongly condemned the terrorist bomb attacks on the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Dahab in the Sinai Peninsula. He said such acts target regional stability and security and negatively impact a nation's economy, as they damage tourist facilities.

Saleh offered Yemeni citizens' condolences to the families of the dead and wished injured individuals a quick recovery.

The president received in Sana'a yesterday Egyptian Intelligence Director Gen. Omar Mahmoud Sulaiman, who carried a letter from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak regarding enhancing brotherly ties between the two Arab countries and establishing joint efforts to fight terrorism.

Via Sulaiman, Saleh returned a letter to Mubarak renewing Yemen's strong denunciation of terrorist acts in Egypt that target security and tourism.

Sulaiman said he received a call saying police arrested 10 people in connection with the triple bomb attack that killed at least 23. “Those arrested are Egyptians and were detained in the town,” he added.

Approximately 62 people were injured in the blasts Monday evening. The attack is the third against tourist resorts along Egypt's Red Sea coast in the past two years. Officials remain unsure whether Dahab was hit by suicide bombers or if the bombs were detonated with timers.

Like other Sinai Peninsula towns, entry into and exit from Dahab is controlled by police checkpoints straddling the only road into and out of town. Egyptian Minister of Tourism Zoheir Garana told media it was too early to say who was behind the attacks.

Some Bedouins are said to have a grudge against the government following rapid tourist development on their ancestral lands, which mainly has benefited Egyptian workers imported from Cairo, one correspondent said.

However on Tuesday, local tribal leaders and holidaymakers held a peaceful march to condemn the attacks and stress support for the tourism industry. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif joined them.

“Terrorists do not recognize borders anymore,” Nazif said, pledging that Egypt will remain on the “front line” of the global war against terrorism.

A host of world leaders have condemned the attacks, which followed blasts in Taba in 2004 and Sharm Al-Sheikh in 2005.

Previous investigations into the Taba and Sharm Al-Sheikh bombings focused on local Bedouin tribes, despite early suspicions that Islamic militants were involved. Egyptian authorities are thought to have uncovered a militant group active in Sinai, but have said very little about it.