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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 June 2006, 04:11 GMT 05:11 UK
Egypt tourist attack trial opens
Cairo blast scene
One of the attacks targeted a crowded Cairo market
Fourteen Egyptians have gone on trial in Cairo in connection with two bomb attacks last year which killed three tourists and wounded 19 people.

The defendants face various charges including aiding the bombers and forming an illegal group. They deny all the allegations.

Some defendants said they had been tortured to obtain false confessions.

The tourists were targeted in two suicide bombings and a shooting in the Egyptian capital in April 2005.

One of the defence lawyers accused the interior ministry of making up the charges because it could not identify the real culprits and wanted to improve its public image.

In one of the attacks, a bomb was thrown into a crowded market in the old Islamic centre of Cairo, popular with tourists.

A French woman was among those killed and American, French and Italian tourists were also wounded.

The hearing has been adjourned until October.

Previous attacks

Tourist attractions have been the targets of bomb attacks in Egypt in the past.

In April, a triple bomb attack in the Red Sea resort of Dahab killed at least 23 people, many of them Egyptians.

The country's lucrative tourism industry was thrown into crisis in 1997 when gunmen opened fire on foreigners in central Cairo and at a site near the southern Egyptian city of Luxor.

A total of 68 people died in the two attacks.


SEE ALSO
Triple blasts rock Egypt resort
25 Apr 06 |  Middle East
'No al-Qaeda hand' in Egypt bombs
01 Nov 04 |  Middle East
Taba attacks shatter Sinai tourism
11 Oct 04 |  Middle East
Country profile: Egypt
15 Jan 05 |  Country profiles



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