October 07, 2004

Hotel Explosion in Egypt Kills Vacationing Israelis

I would note that today is the 60th anniversary of the Auschwitz uprising. Half a century after the Halocaust and Jews are still the victims of those that wish to see a final solution.

UPDATES ONGOING: 23 Dead 29 DEAD 35 Dead and rising

JPOST: Dual homicide bombing at one bombing location. Over 100 wounded. Doctors being flown in from around Israel

Ha'aretz (via Brain Shavings): 10 floors of hotel collapse, still digging people out. Pic of what the hotel looked like pre-explosion here.

Daily Telegraph, AU (via Michele Catalano): Jamaa Al-Islamiya Al-Alamiya (World Islamist Group) claims responsibility for the explosion using car bomb.

Israel Insider (via Darleen): Street celebrations in Gaza and in Cairo.

Channel News Asia: After first trying to blame the explosions on a gas leak (see below) Egypt now admits probably a bomb.

3 Explosions in different locations. Reuters:

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Explosions rocked two resort towns in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, shortly after a massive blast in the Hilton Hotel near Israel killed at least 23 people, Israeli radio stations reported.

The radio stations reported explosions in the Egyptian resorts of Nueiba and Ras al-Sultan dozens of kilometers (miles) to the southwest of Taba where the first explosion occurred. Thousands of Israelis have been vacationing in the Sinai Peninsula over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Notice how this, the first Reuters report, goes out of it's way to mention that it might have been a gas leak. UPDATE: Al Jazeera repeating al Reuters party line: "Police sources said that a car bomb caused the blast, however the Egyptian television reported that a gas leak caused the explosion." Reuters:
An explosion has torn through an Egyptian hotel used by many vacationing Israelis at the Red Sea border resort of Taba and Israeli witnesses reported seeing dozens of bodies from a possible bomb attack.

Israeli media said the blast could have been caused by suicide bombers or a gas leak.

"I heard a huge explosion. The wall near me collapsed and people began to run. There were many casualties ... The explosion was outside. When we went out we saw the shops and the internal wall of the hotel had collapsed.

"Some people said it was a gas canister explosion and others said it was a terrorist attack. There are a lot of people (lying on the ground). There is a lot of blood, a lot of screaming," a witness called Yigal told Army radio on Thursday.

A large number of people were wounded in the blast, the radio stations said, and many were being evacuated to a hospital in Eilat. Witnesses at the scene reported seeing part of the hotel on fire and said that a ceiling may have collapsed.

Israeli security forces had warned Israeli travellers against visiting Egyptian resorts on the Red Sea, saying they might be targeted by Islamic militants.

Thousands of Israelis have travelled to Egypt's Sinai peninsula, a popular holiday destination, during the Sukkot holiday.

Witnesses said there were also many Russians at the hotel.

"The hotel is on fire on the eastern side, the entry point, the lobby. People are trying to get out," a reporter for Israel Radio said from the scene in Taba.

Also on the case: Chad Evans

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:55 PM | Comments |