Explosions Rock Dahab, Egypt.
Once again, an Egyptian resort is the target of multiple expolsions in a day when all Egyptians celebrate the feast of Spring.
Three explosions rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab at the height of the tourist season Monday, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 150 at just one hotel, according to the doctor in charge of the Sinai peninsula rescue squad.
Police said the explosions hit the central part of the city where there are many shops, restaurants, bars and guesthouses. The blasts ripped through the town shortly after nightfall when the streets would have been jammed with tourists, mainly with Europeans, Israelis and expatriates living in Egypt.
Dr. Said Essa, who runs the rescue squad, said his casualty figures were for victims at the el-Khaleeg Hotel only. He said there were casualties from the other explosions.
A witness, Serge Loussararian, told CNN that an explosion took place in an area with restaurants and bars. "We heard the explosion and then we saw a big light. And a lot of people running," he said.
Terrorist attacks have killed nearly 100 people at several tourist resorts of Egypt's Sinai region in the past two years.
Bombings in the resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan, near the Israeli border, killed 34 people in October 2004. Last July, suicide attackers in the resort of Sharm el-Sheik killed at least 64 people, mainly tourists.
The Egyptian government has said the militants who carried out the bombings were locals without international connections, but other security agencies have said they suspect al-Qaida.
For years, Dahab was popular, low-key haven for young Western backpackers — including Israelis — drawn by prime scuba diving sites and cheap hotels, which mainly consisted of huts set up along the beach. In recent years, a number of more upscale hotels have been built, including a five-star Hilton resort.
Dahab is located on the Gulf of Aqaba on the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula and is about 65 miles south of Taba, near the border at the southern tip of Israel.