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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Anger and resignation in Sharm al-Sheikh
By Lucy Williamson
BBC News, Sharm al-Sheikh

No-one would want Yahya's job these days. He's a garbage collector in Sharm al-Sheikh, and his patch covers the site where one of the bombs exploded here last weekend. Recalling it still makes him cry.

Police check underneath a car as it enters old town of Sharm al-Sheikh
Armed police now mingle with the tourists in the town
"I heard the blast", he tells me, "and I rushed to help. It was a really bad scene. We were carrying children, lots of bodies.

"The people who did this, they have no religion. May God have retribution on them."

Since the bomb attacks here last week, security is high on everyone's mind. Armed police mingle with bikini-clad tourists.

The roads around the bomb site are still covered with shattered glass, the remains of shop windows blown out in the blast.

One of those windows belongs to Hosni, who runs a shop for tourists in the resort. But now only flies come to buzz over his swimsuits and sunhats.

"This is August", he says mournfully, "and all the tourists are ready to leave. We have four staff but no customers."

Hosni sleeps in his shop these days. With all the tourists leaving, he says, he can't afford to lose his stock.

'This happens everywhere'

Everyone here is angry about the attacks, but local people are victims twice over. The bombings killed their colleagues and their countrymen, and they also damaged the economy.

For days after the bombings, suitcases piled up in the lobbies of Sharm al-Sheikh's luxury hotels told the story of tourists frightened away from Egypt's most successful resort.

Now the bars and pools are gradually filling up again. But the mood is one of resignation or defiance, not holiday spirit.

Ask them why they're staying, and tourists from Beirut and London have the same response: this happens everywhere now.

The attacks have united Egyptians and foreigners here in the saddest way possible. Hundreds joined a rally in Sharm al-Sheikh this week in protest at the bombings.

But the damage to Egypt's international image and its valuable tourist industry worries many people.

Watching over his empty shop, Hosni says he doesn't believe Egyptians could have carried out the attacks.

"I think it's someone from outside," he says, "not an Egyptian, because if I want to kill all Egypt, I kill in Sharm al-Sheikh."




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