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2004 Sinai bombings

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2004 Sinai bombings
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
LocationTaba and Nuweiba, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
Coordinates29°07′24.43″N 34°41′05.12″E / 29.1234528°N 34.6847556°E / 29.1234528; 34.6847556
29°29′24.20″N 34°53′58.50″E / 29.4900556°N 34.8995833°E / 29.4900556; 34.8995833
Date7 October 2004
Attack type
car bombings
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetratorsmasterminded by Iyad Saleh and carried out by a Palestinian group
Motivepresumably the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Moon Island beach resort in June 2004, four months before the deadly terrorist attack. Most of the restaurant compound (the larger structures in front) was destroyed in the blast.
Newly rebuilt, Hilton Taba.

The 2004 Sinai bombings were three bomb attacks targeting tourist hotels in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, on 7 October 2004. The attacks left 34 people dead and 171 injured.

The bombings

The explosions occurred on the night of 7 October, against the Hilton Taba and campsites used by Israelis in Ras al-Shitan. In the Taba attack, a truck drove into the lobby of the Taba Hilton and exploded, killing 31 people and wounding some 159 others. Ten floors of the hotel collapsed following the blast.[1]

Some 50 kilometers (31 mi) south, at campsites at Ras al-Shitan, near Nuweiba, two more bombings happened. A car parked in front of a restaurant at the Moon Island resort exploded, killing two Israelis and a Bedouin. Twelve were wounded. Another blast happened moments later, targeting the Baddiyah camp, but did not harm anyone because the bomber had apparently been scared off from entering the campground by a guard.[2]

Of the 34 who were killed, 18 were Egyptians, 12 were from Israel, two from Italy, one from Russia, and one was an Israeli-American.

The investigation

According to the Egyptian government, the bombers were Palestinians who had tried to enter Israel to carry out attacks there but were unsuccessful. They claimed that the mastermind, Iyad Saleh, recruited Egyptians and Bedouins to find explosives to be used in the attacks. Beginning in March 2004, the bombers used washing machine timers, mobile phones and modified gas cylinders to build the bombs. They used TNT and old explosives found in the Sinai (as it was many times a war zone), which were purchased from Bedouins, to complete the bombs.[3] Egypt has said that Saleh and one of his aides, Suleiman Ahmed Saleh Flayfil, died in the Hilton blast, apparently because their bomb timer had run out too fast.[4]

Three Egyptians, Younes Mohammed Mahmoud, Osama al-Nakhlawi, and Mohammed Jaez Sabbah were sentenced to death in November 2006 for their roles in the blast.[5] Egypt arrested up to 2,400 people following the attacks.[6]

According to investigators,[who?] there is no strong link to Al Qaeda in the blasts.[citation needed]


Israel had warned in September 2004 that terrorists were planning attacks in the Sinai, but most Israelis did not heed those warnings and went on vacation there instead.[7] Many Israelis left the Sinai after the bombings, along with some foreign tourists, but the effects on the country's tourism were not too severe.[citation needed]

Militants struck again in Cairo at tourists in April 2005, killing three and wounding several. Similar attacks took place in resorts in Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2005 and in Dahab in 2006.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Death toll rises in Egypt blasts BBC News 9 October 2004. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  2. ^ Penny Spiller (11 October 2004). Taba attacks Shatter Sinai Tourism BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  3. ^ Sinai attackers failed to enter Israel Ynet 4 February 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  4. ^ Egypt jails five in Sinai attacks Washington Post
  5. ^ "Egyptian Court Condemns 3 Militants". Washington Post. 30 November 2006.
  6. ^ "Mass arrests after Sinai bombs". BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  7. ^ Security questions over Sinai attacks BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  8. ^ Halawi, Jailan (27 April – 3 May 2006). "Sects and politics". Al Ahram Weekly (792). Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2014.

External links