Blasts Rock Egyptian Resort, Killing at Least 36
Witness Says One Hotel Was 'Completely Burned Down, Destroyed'
By LEE KEATH, AP
CAIRO, Egypt (July 22) - As many as seven explosions, including at least four car bombs, struck the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik early Saturday, hitting several hotels packed with foreign and Egyptian tourists and killing at least 36 people, witnesses and police said.
Saturday's explosions at 1:15 a.m. shook windows more than five miles away. Smoke and fire rose from Naama Bay, a main strip of beach hotels in the desert city popular with Israeli and European tourists, witnesses said.
At least four car bombs were used in the attacks, said a security official in the operations control room in Cairo monitoring the crisis. One went off in the driveway of the Ghazala Garden hotel, a 176-room four-star resort on the main strip of hotels in Naama Bay, the official said.
''The hotel was completely burned down, destroyed,'' said Amal Mustafa, 28, an Egyptian who was visiting with her family and drove by the Ghazala Gardens.
Another exploded in the Old Market, a few miles away, killing 17 people - believed to be Egyptians - sitting at a nearby outdoor coffee shop. Three minibuses were set ablaze, though it was not clear if they were carrying passengers, the official said.
Khaled Sakran, a resident, said he saw the first blast from the Old Market. ''I saw the fire in the sky,'' he said. ''Right after, I saw a light in the sky and heard another explosion, coming from Naama Bay.'' He said he believed there was also a third explosion.
A police official in Sharm el-Sheik said at least 36 people were killed and 150 wounded in what may have been as many as seven blasts, three in Naamah Bay and four in the Old Market.
AP-NY-07-22-05 20:49 EDT
When are things going to change?