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Police detain 10 after Egypt blasts; tourists defiant

Written by: Staff
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DAHAB, Egypt, Apr 25 (Reuters) Egyptian police detained at least 10 people, including three computer engineers, today 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 yesterday 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 dollars a year and employs around 10 per cent of the country's workforce.

As well as those formally detained, police said around 70 local bedouin had been pulled in for questioning.

Despite the severity of the attack, which wounded around 80 people, most tourists said they planned to stay on in Dahab, a popular site for scuba diving, especially among backpackers.

''We don't think we're going to change our plans. You end up thinking that it could happen anywhere these days,'' Swiss holidaymaker Matthias Barlocher said before the march.

''(But) it doesn't feel right to be enjoying a holiday when you can see bloody footprints everywhere.'' Trails of blood remained on a stretch of Dahab's beach promenade, which is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops.

In other places, shopkeepers washed away bloodstains with salt and water and attempted to go back to business.

MORE REUTERS SHB VP2225

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