US embassy cable - 05CAIRO2743

EGYPT: EXPLOSION AT CAIRO BAZAAR

Identifier: 05CAIRO2743
Wikileaks: View 05CAIRO2743 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Cairo
Created: 2005-04-07 20:39:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PTER ASEC CASC EG Explosion
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 002743 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER, ASEC, CASC, EG, Explosion 
SUBJECT: EGYPT:  EXPLOSION AT CAIRO BAZAAR 
 
Sensitive but unclassified.  Please protect accordingly. 
 
1.  (SBU)  Charge convened the Emergency Action Committee 
(EAC) at 8:30 p.m. on April 7 after reports of an explosion 
in the popular Khan al Khalili bazaar near downtown Cairo. 
An explosion occurred at about 5:45 p.m., causing multiple 
injuries, including four confirmed AmCit injured, one of whom 
is in critical condition. 
 
2.  (SBU)  Preliminary reports of casualties vary, yet most 
reports suggest two or more dead, including a French tourist 
(mentioned in multiple press reports) and possibly an 
American.  The French Naval Attache told DAO that he could 
confirm one French dead, three wounded.  U.S. consular 
officers at Al Hussein Hospital, where most of the injured 
were reportedly taken, report four injured AmCits, one in 
critical condition.  Many press reports indicate there is one 
body of unidentified nationality.  Reports indicating about 
18 injured suggest that half are Egyptian, half foreign. 
 
3.  (SBU)  The area of the incident is a favorite with 
foreign tourists.  While reports are preliminary, suggestions 
of foreign casualties could indicate a political motive. 
Post is not aware of any claims of responsibility or any 
particular threat information associated with the incident. 
 
4.  (SBU)  The EAC (involving A/DCM, RSO, ORA, LEGATT, CONS, 
OMC, DAO, MSG, PA, ECPO, and MGT) assessed the information 
available as very preliminary and came to the following 
conclusions: 
 
-- a warden message is being drafted by CONS, to include 
"reports of foreign casualties" and advising extra prudence 
in personal travel (text in paragraph five); 
-- the warden message would be distributed through the warden 
network, hand delivered to Embassy residences, and posted on 
the Embassy website; 
-- AmCits should be advised to avoid the Khan al Khalili 
bazaar area until the situation could be clarified; 
-- two CONS personnel were already en route to the vicinity 
to search for and assist AmCits; 
-- specific EAC members were to contact personnel from other 
embassies (Canada, UK, and Germany) who were known to be at 
or near the scene; 
-- there was no threat information prior to the event, nor 
any reports to suggest further events; 
-- the school which many Embassy children attend had RSO 
personnel present at an ongoing Middle School social event; 
-- no large social events were planned for the weekend that 
the EAC would recommend be postponed; 
-- a police presence was expected at a softball event in 
Maadi the following day; 
-- outlying USG personnel (Alexandria and military training 
sites in particular) were being notified; 
-- the EAC assessed current Embassy perimeter security as 
appropriate; 
-- the A/DCM was to apprise the Operations Center of the 
situation and serve as the focal point for information as 
further facts were developed; 
-- the EAC would reconvene at 12:00 noon the following day 
(Friday) to further clarify the facts of the incident and 
assess the security situation; and, 
-- the A/DCM notified the visiting Council on Foreign 
Relations delegation of the incident. 
 
5.  (U)  Begin text of Embassy "Security Warden Notice:"  At 
approximately 6:00 p.m. there was an explosion in the Khan El 
Khalili shopping area.  Preliminary reports indicate several 
casualties, including deaths of foreigners.  U.S. Embassy 
personnel are on the scene to determine the extent of the 
casualties and to assist any Americans involved.  U.S. 
citizens are advised to stay away from the Khan area, which 
has been cordoned off by local authorities, until further 
notice.  As more precise information becomes available, the 
Embassy will inform the community via warden message and 
Internet. 
 
While there is no independent information to suggest that 
this apparent attack was a part of a larger effort, all 
residents of and visitors to Egypt should be especially 
vigilant and avoid areas of Cairo where large numbers of 
tourists congregate. 
 
As the U.S. Government develops information on any potential 
security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares 
credible threat information through its consular information 
program documents, available on the Internet at 
http://travel.state.gov.  For further information, U.S. 
citizens may call the Embassy's American Citizen Services 
Unit on 797-2301 during business hours, Sunday to Thursday 
from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  For emergencies after 
business hours and on weekends, U.S. citizens can contact the 
Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on 797-3300. 
 The Embassy is located at 5 Latin America Street, Garden 
City, Cairo.  General information about Egypt is available at 
the Embassy's website www.usembassy.egnet.net.  The most 
recent State Department public announcement on North Africa 
and the Middle East has additional security information.  It 
can be found at www.travel.state.gov.  End text. 
 
 
Visit Embassy Cairo's Classified Website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/cairo 
 
You can also access this site through the 
State Department's Classified SIPRNET website. 
 
GRAY 

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