At least 28 people were killed and scores injured when car bombs exploded at resorts packed with Israeli holidaymakers on the Red Sea coast of Egypt's Sinai desert in attacks Israel blamed yesterday on al-Qaeda. \nThe most powerful of the explosions late Thursday left a trail of carnage and destruction at the 10-story Hilton hotel in Taba, a town just across the Israeli border, that hosted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in 2001. \n"According to our first information, it appears to be an international terror attack with the hallmarks of al-Qaeda," said Israel's deputy defense minister, Zeev Boim. \nThe explosions followed official warnings that Israelis should keep out of the Sinai because of possible attacks. \nThey occurred as Israelis were celebrating the end of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the Sinai desert on their way to the "Promised Land," and celebrates the way in which God protected them. \nEstimates of the number of dead varied through the night as rescuers combed the rubble of the hotel searching for survivors and bodies after the attacks, one of the deadliest on Egyptian soil. \nAn Israeli army general at the site said yesterday that 23 Israelis and five Egyptians were killed, stressing it was a provisional toll. \n"For the moment, 28 bodies have been recovered, including those of 23 Israelis and five Egyptians," General Yair Naveh told Israeli public radio. \n"We think there are more dead under the rubble, but work to clear the rubble will take time, no doubt several days," the general said, adding that around 20 people were hospitalized in Israel. \nShamun Romash, the Israeli rescue operations chief at the hotel, added: "There is minimal hope of finding survivors because the explosion was very powerful." \nAccording to Israeli officials, the Hilton attack was carried out by a suicide bomber in a car carrying 200kg of explosives. A second suicide bomber blew himself up by the hotel's pool. \nIsraeli public radio reported that two car engines were recovered from the site, supposing that two cars were used in the attack. The Egyptian news agency MENA said one of them was a green Ford. \nTwo people were also killed in attacks in a restaurant in the backpacker resort of Ras Sultan, near Nuweiba further south. \nThe attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who blew himself up in a parking lot close to a restaurant. A second suicide bomber who tried to enter the same restaurant detonated himself prematurely, killing only himself, an Israeli official told reporters. \nIsrael's ambassador to Egypt, Eli Shaked, said he had been informed that most of the casualties there were Egyptians, while Moscow said one Russian was killed and eight injured. \nLondon said two Britons were among the wounded in the Sinai blasts.
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