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Egypt Bombings Probe Focuses on Group of Pakistanis


Egyptian authorities are searching for a group of Pakistani men in connection with Saturday's bombings of the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed scores of people and left hundreds of others wounded.

Police are distributing photographs of the Pakistanis around Sharm el-Sheikh, including at vehicle checkpoints set up in the wake of the devastating triple bombing. Little is known about the Pakistanis, except that they are said to be young adults who entered Egypt earlier this month and have disappeared, leaving their passports behind at a hotel. Authorities have not accused the men of any wrongdoing, and say they are following all avenues of inquiry to find those responsible for the terrorist attack.

At a news conference, the local governor, Moustafa Afifi, said investigators believe at least one of the three bombings was a suicide attack. Overall, close to 100 people have been detained since the blasts detonated at a hotel and car park.

Many residents of Sharm el-Sheikh continue to condemn the attack and lament its economic consequences for the tourism-dependent region.

Monday, a small group of demonstrators marched through Sharm el-Sheikh, waving signs that read "Terrorism has no religion" and "We resent terrorism in all forms."

In Washington, President Bush condemned the attack after he and First Lady Laura Bush signed a book of condolences at Egypt's embassy.

"The people who struck Sharm el-Sheikh killed Muslims, innocent mothers and dads," he said. "people who were trying to make a living. They [the terrorists] have no heart, have no conscience. They have no ideology that is hopeful. They have an ideology of hate."

Mr. Bush said the United States stands "shoulder-to-shoulder" with the people of Egypt in the desire to bring the perpetrators of the bombings to justice.

In Pakistan, meanwhile, President Pervez Musharraf dismissed any speculation that recent attacks in London and Egypt might have been directed by terrorist organizers in his nation. Mr. Musharraf said al-Qaida is too weak to orchestrate attacks abroad, and that Pakistani forces have shattered the terrorist group's command center in the country.

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