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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Arab media divided on bomb coverage
By Sebastian Usher
BBC world media correspondent

Men walk past a building damaged in one of the Dahab bombings
The Arab press has been more muted in its response

Coverage of the bombings in the Egyptian resort of Dahab and their aftermath has differed greatly between the Arab world's satellite news stations and its press.

On the television stations, coverage has been virtually non-stop.

In contrast, the coverage in much of the Arab press - including Egyptian papers - has been more low-key.

Even the paper generally considered the most influential in Egypt, Al-Ahram, did not run the attacks as its top story.

The headline in Al-Ahram is a quote from President Hosni Mubarak saying: "Terrorism combines religion and politics to destabilise the nation."

Despite appearances, though, the president's words are not a direct reaction to the Dahab attack.

Instead, they were part of a speech he made before the bombings on Monday to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the return of the Sinai peninsula from Israel to Egypt.

In his speech, Mr Mubarak spoke of a better future for Egypt, highlighting the moves towards greater democracy in the past year.

Lack of intensity

Another leading Egyptian paper, Al-Goumhouriya, does lead with Mr Mubarak's direct reaction to the attack in which he vows that the "criminals will not escape".

But compared to the vivid and bloody images from Dahab shown on Egyptian TV and Arab satellite channels, the press reaction in Egypt seems muted and uncertain.

There has been a similar lack of intensity in the coverage in much of the rest of the Arab world's press.

The strongest report is in the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi. Its front page is dominated by a picture of one of the victims.

The paper draws attention to the fact that the bombing came a day after the release of the latest tape from al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

In Israel, the papers have devoted much more space to the attack.

A commentator in the right-of-centre Ma'ariv warns, "al-Qaeda terrorism is getting closer to us. Sooner or later it will cross the border between Egypt and Israel".


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