Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

Middle east

Seven accused over bazaar bombing are released

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-03

Egypt's state security prosecutor has ordered the release of seven people held in connection with a fatal bazaar bombing in Cairo last year, in which a 17-year-old French tourist (pictured) was killed.

AFP - Egypt's state security prosecutor on Monday ordered the release of seven people accused over a deadly bazaar bombing in February 2009 that killed a French tourist, the official MENA news agency said.

Three Belgians, two Palestinians and two Egyptians have been ordered released, MENA said, without providing further details.

A judicial source said that the Belgians and Palestinians are to be deported.

Twelve people had been detained in connection with the attack, Egyptian state television said.

Five are still being held pending further investigation. They are French, British and Egyptian nationals, the television said.

A British diplomat earlier told AFP that the British suspect had been released in recent weeks, before retracting the statement.

The interior ministry had accused the suspects of having ties to Al-Qaeda and of carrying out an attack on February 22 last year at the famed Khan al-Khalili bazaar in Cairo.

Last year, the ministry said it had arrested one French woman of Albanian origin, one British man of Egyptian origin, two Palestinians, one Belgian man of Tunisian origin and two Egyptians.

But reports of further arrests and the nationalities of suspects has fluctuated since the attack.

A 17-year-old French girl was killed and 24 people, mostly tourists, injured in the bazaar bombing, the first deadly attack on tourists in Egypt since 2006.

The attack struck in the early evening in a street lined with cafes and restaurants in Khan al-Khalili, a 1,500-year-old market that is one of the Egyptian capital's main tourist attractions.

The interior ministry had said members of the cell, which called itself the Islamic Army of Palestine and was led by two Egyptians living abroad, were found in possession of weapons and explosives.

It said some members of the cell had travelled to the Gaza Strip through cross-border smuggling tunnels to receive military training there.

Some suspects said they had also been instructed to carry out attacks against tourist resorts and fuel pipelines in the Sinai peninsula.

A Belgian suspect told police during his interrogation last year that he had been instructed to accompany Al-Qaeda operatives from Belgium to France to carry out an attack there, the ministry said.

Human rights groups accused police at the time of torturing suspects and of carrying out illegal arrests.

Egypt saw a spate of deadly bombings in Sinai resorts between 2004 and 2006 which the authorities blamed on militants loyal to Al-Qaeda.

Twenty people were killed when triple suicide bombings rocked the Sinai diving resort of Dahab in 2006.

Some 70 people were killed in multiple bomb attacks on Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2005. At least 34 died in simultaneous bombings against resorts in Taba further up the Red Sea coast in October 2004.

Date created : 2010-03-03

COMMENT(S)