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Bomb in Cairo Tourist Bazaar Kills Up to Four

Reuters | April 7, 2005
By Jonathan Wright

CAIRO - A man threw a bomb in a Cairo bazaar popular with tourists on Thursday, killing up to four people, including an American and a French citizen, Egyptian police and government officials said.

Ahmed Adel, a senior official at the Egyptian Health Ministry, said the explosion in the central historic area of the Egyptian capital wounded 18 others. The Interior Ministry said earlier the French citizen was a woman.

The wounded -- four French, three Americans, an Italian, a Turk and nine Egyptians -- were taken to hospital where the French woman died, the ministry said in a statement but did not give the cause of the blast.

Cairo Security Director Nabil el-Azabi said a man on foot threw the bomb. Police sources had earlier said it was tossed into the crowd by man on a motorcycle.

"There was a big explosion and everybody started running away," witness Rabab Rifaat said.

Another witness, who asked not to be named, said he went to scene and saw at least five foreign nationals badly wounded and a large amount of smoke.

The bomb went off on one of Cairo's streets lined with shops catering for tourists. Police sealed off the road which was covered with shattered glass and shops were closed.

There was no immediate indication of what the motive of the attack was.

The bombing was the latest in a series of attacks on tourists in Egypt, which thousands of foreign nationals visit each year to see its ancient treasures and pyramids.

An Egyptian man stabbed and wounded two Hungarian tourists in central Cairo last month in what police said was revenge for Western policies toward Iraqis and Palestinians.

A series of bombings in Egyptian Red Sea resorts killed 34 people last October.

Tourists, who provide Egypt with a main source of its hard currency, were frequently attacked by Islamist militants who waged an insurgency against the Egyptian government in the 1990s.

An attack in 1997 at a Pharaonic temple in the southern town of Luxor killed 58 tourists and badly hit the industry for a long time. Tourists returned slowly and last year witnessed a record number of visitors to the country.

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