Death toll rises to 83 in al Qaeda car bomb attacks at Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Friday night, July 21

Thirty-five of the 200 injured moved to Cairo hospital. Victims still trapped in the rubble. Mubarak arrives to inspect scene.

DEBKAfile Intelligence

23 July 2005

Al Qaeda-linked group called Abdullah Azzam Brigades in Levant and Egypt claimed responsibility . DEBKAfile’s sources report the group is named for the Palestinian terror ideologue who was Osama bin Laden’s early mentor.

Russian, Kuwaiti, Dutch, British Saudi and Qatari tourists among the casualties as well as many Egyptians. One Israeli woman reported slightly injured.

First of some 4 to 7 explosions on Egypt’s national holiday - marking the 1952 revolution anniversary - struck the Old Market which was packed with tourists. Some 17 Egyptians were killed in a coffee house. Blasts then hit the Naamah Bay luxury hotels - a suicide car smashing into the 5-star Ghazala Gardens reception, another going off near the Moevenpick. Tourists in the bars and restaurants fled in all directions in panic.

Israeli government renews its warning to citizens to stay away from Egypt and Sinai. Last October, al Qaeda struck resorts in northern Sinai resorts including Taba Hilton killing 34, among them 13 Israelis. This latest attack is the most deadly since the 1997 Islamic extremist massacre in Luxor that left 58 dead.

Sharm el-Sheikh is a traditional venue for Middle East peace conferences. Last February, Israeli and Palestinian leaders Sharon and Abbas shook hands on a ceasefire there. President Mubarak’s winter residence is not far from Naamah Bay.