Note that this Reuters report on the Sinai bombings offhandedly mentions more sweeps of the peninsula’s Bedouin inhabitants. The Bedouin, their lands divided by Egypt and Israel, have been kicked around plenty on both sides of the border. The situation in the Sinai’s desert interior is approaching a small counterinsurgency war against the Bedouin–which will only have the effect of strengthening whatever ties exist to al-Qaeda in their communities. But Sinai only enters the headlines when a tourist resort gets blown up.
DAHAB, Egypt – Egyptian police detained at least 10 people, including three computer engineers, on Tuesday in connection with a triple bombing in the Sinai resort of Dahab that killed at least 18 people and wounded scores.
Security sources provided few details about those detained, but one source said three of them were computer engineers who had arrived in Dahab from Cairo the day before the blasts, which went off nearly simultaneously on Monday evening.
Foreign holidaymakers described scenes of carnage in the aftermath of the explosions, which were detonated near a cafe, a restaurant and a supermarket in the tightly packed streets of the popular tourist town.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry confirmed 18 deaths, among them four foreigners — a Russian, a Swiss man, a German child and a Lebanese national. Earlier the ministry put the death toll at 23. Lebanese authorities said they knew of no nationals killed.
The bombings, the third similar-style attack in the Sinai peninsula in the past 18 months, threatened to dent Egypt’s vital tourist industry, which brings in more than $7 billion a year and employs around 10 percent of the country’s workforce.
As well as those formally detained, police said around 70 local bedouin had been pulled in for questioning.
See our last posts on Egypt, the Bedouin and the Sinai crackdown.
At least somebody is paying attention…
From IRIN, May 4:
Bedouin link to al-Qaeda?
From the New York Times, May 7:
Reports don’t emphasize it, but the suspects arrested in the April 26 attack on peacekeeping troops in the Sinai also appear to be Bedouin. From Xinhua, May 6:
More from Reuters: