- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2005

Seek museum bomber’s brother

CAIRO — Police have detained about 200 people for questioning about two attacks on foreign tourists in Cairo and are hunting for the brother of one of the attackers, security sources said yesterday.

Police rounded up the people in the working-class Cairo district of Shubra Kheima, home to a man and two women who killed themselves and wounded four foreigners in two separate attacks on tourists on Saturday.

The authorities were investigating whether there were more members of a group that they say was behind Saturday’s attacks and an April 7 attack that killed three tourists and a bomber in a Cairo bazaar, the sources said.

Ehab Yousri Yassin, Saturday’s bomber, wounded the four foreigners and three Egyptians when he blew himself up with a nail bomb near the Egyptian Museum, a major draw for tourists.

Police were hunting for Yassin’s brother, Mohammed, who was present when Yassin’s wife and sister opened fire on a tourist bus in another part of Cairo in the second attack, police Maj. Gen. Hamdi Abdel Karim told reporters.

The women, the first to conduct such an attack in Egypt, did not wound any tourists. Yassin’s sister shot his wife and herself, killing both. Gen. Abdel Karim said Mohammed, about 18 years old, fled the scene.

The authorities had previously identified Iman Ibrahim Khamees as Yassin’s girlfriend. But the prosecutor general said yesterday that she was his wife.

Yassin was a fugitive wanted in connection with the April 7 attack in Cairo, the authorities said.

Tourism Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi said an Israeli couple wounded by the nail bomb were in ?decent condition? and were to head home last night. A wounded Italian woman left for Italy, and the three Egyptians left the hospital, officials said.

A Swedish man who had undergone eye surgery might stay in the hospital for a few more days, said Health Minister Awad Tag el-Din.

The April 7 attack — together with bombs that in October struck Red Sea resorts, killing 34 persons — appears to have had little impact on tourism, which earned $6.6 billion in 2004.

Economists said the industry might also shrug off Saturday’s attacks if the violence stopped. Tourists at the Egyptian Museum said the latest attacks would not make them cut short their vacations.

?It can be dangerous everywhere. We have been here since Monday, and we are planning to stay five more days. We’re not changing our plans,? said Vlado Vatovec, a moving company manager from Slovenia on vacation with his wife and son.

Security forces strengthened barricades around the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. A spokesman said Americans should avoid tourist areas until the embassy could make an assessment of the security situation.

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