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Voice of America, 20 & 21 April 1996

From: "Ioannis V. Bousnakis" <ivb19@nfi.com>

Voice of America Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] EGYPT/MILITANTS UPDATE (S & L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)

  • [02] EGYPT/SHOOTING L ONLY BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)


  • [01] EGYPT/MILITANTS UPDATE (S & L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)

    DATE=4/20/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-196039
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // CHANGES INTRO TO UPDATE; NO CHANGE TO TEXT //

    INTRO: IN EGYPT, A STATE-RUN NEWSPAPER SAYS AUTHORITIES HAVE ROUNDED UP HUNDREDS OF ISLAMIC RADICALS AND BELIEVE THEY HAVE CAUGHT THE PERPETRATORS OF THE BLOODY ATTACK ON A GROUP OF GREEK TOURISTS OUTSIDE A CAIRO HOTEL EARLIER THIS WEEK.. MEANWHILE, THE RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUP GAMA-A ISLAMIYA HAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTACK. AS V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM CAIRO, THE ATTACK APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.

    TEXT: THE GAMA-A ISLAMIYA STATEMENT SAYS THE OPERATION WAS LAUNCHED TO AVENGE THE DEATHS OF WHAT IT CALLS THE MARTYRS IN LEBANON. AND THE ATTACK WAS AIMED AT JEWISH GROUPS WHO OFTEN STAY AT THE HOTEL.

    ISRAELIS DO OFTEN STAY AT THE MODERATLY PRICED HOTEL NEAR THE PYRAMIDS BUT THERE WERE NO JEWISH GROUPS THERE ARE THE TIME, ONLY SEVERAL GREEK TOURS AND SOME POLISH TOURISTS.

    FOUR GUNMEN OPENED FIRE THURSDAY ON THE GREEK TOURISTS AS THEY WERE ABOUT TO BOARD THEIR BUS FOR A DAY TRIP TO ALEXANDRIA. EIGHTEEN PEOPLE DIED AND MORE THAN 16 OTHERS WERE WOUNDED IN THE BLOODY ATTACK.

    IT WAS THE FIRST MAJOR TERRORIST ATTACK IN CAIRO IN NEARLY THREE YEARS. IT EMBARRASSED THE GOVERNMENT, WHICH HAS INSISTED ITS CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ISLAMIC RADICALS HAS SUCCEEDED IN CURBING THEIR VIOLENCE.

    BUT ANALYSTS AND DIPLOMATS IN CAIRO HAVE WARNED THAT THE ISRAELI OFFENSIVE IN LEBANON AND THE RISING CIVILIAN DEATH TOLL THERE COULD SPARK MORE VIOLENCE ACROSS THE REGION.

    //OPT THE REST FOR LONG //

    ARAB ANGER OVER THE ISRAELI ACTION HAS BEEN RELFECTED IN STRONGLY WORDED GOVERNMENT REACTIONS AND IN THE MEDIA THROUGH SCATHING EDITORIALS AND POLITICAL CARTOONS.

    DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS HAVE INTENSIFIED TO BROKER A CASEFIRE BUT THE EXCHANGE OF FIRE CONTINUES BETWEEN ISRAELI TROOPS AND HEZBOLLAH MILITANTS IN SOUTHERN LEBANON. U-S, FRENCH, RUSSIAN AND EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN MINISTERS ARE SHUTTLING BETWEEN MIDDLE EASTERN CAPITALS TO PURSUE THAT GOAL, AND A CEASEFIRE MAY BE REACHED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. (SIGNED)

    NEB/LK/GPT
    20-Apr-96 8:58 AM EDT (1258 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EGYPT/SHOOTING L ONLY BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)

    DATE=4/21/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-196066
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EGYPT'S INTERIOR MINISTRY SAYS IT EXPECTS TO OFFICIALLY ARREST THE FOUR ALLEGED CULPRITS IN THE SHOOTING OF 18 GREEK TOURISTS THURSDAY. THE RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUP GAMA-A ISLAMIYA CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTACK AND SAID IT WAS TARGETING ISRAELIS IN REVENGE FOR THE OFFENSIVE IN SOUTHERN LEBANON. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM CAIRO THE INTERIOR MINISTRY SAYS WITNESSES HAVE IDENTIFIED SOME OF THE SUSPECTS ALREADY CAPTURED.

    TEXT: INTERIOR MINISTRY SPOKESMAN RAOUF MENAWI SAYS WITNESSES HAVE IDENTIFIED SOME OF THE DETAINED SUSPECTS, BUT OFFICIALS ARE WAITING FOR MORE PROOF TO CHARGE THEM.

    AT THE SAME TIME, HE CONFIRMS THREE SENIOR OFFICERS IN CHARGE OF THE DISTRICT WHERE THE HOTEL WAS LOCATED HAVE BEEN REPRIMANDED. THIRTEEN AGENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR SECURITY AROUND THE HOTEL HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED.

    HE CONFIRMS THERE WERE NO POLICE AGENTS AT THE HOTEL AT THE TIME OF THE SHOOTING, ONLY IN THE VICINITY. DURING THE PAST FOUR YEARS, SECURITY HAS BEEN INCREASED AT MOST CAIRO HOTELS TO MAKE TRAVELERS FEEL SAFER.

    A WAVE OF EXTREMIST VIOLENCE THAT HIT CAIRO IN THE EARLY 1990'S KEPT TOURISTS AWAY, AND COST EGYPT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOST REVENUES. THURSDAY'S ATTACK WAS THE FIRST MAJOR TERRORIST ASSAULT IN THE CAPITAL SINCE THE END OF 1993.

    PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR OSAMA EL BAZ SAYS THE GOVERNMENT'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISLAMIC MILITANTS HAS CURBED EXTREMIST VIOLENCE.

    /// EL BAZ //

    THE FACT THAT AN INCIDENT TOOK PLACE AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME MEANS THAT TERRORISM AND TERRORIST ACTIONS OR THE ABILITY OF TERRORIST GROUPS TO RESORT TO ACTIONS IN EGYPT HAS BEEN REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY. NO COUNTRY CAN SAY IT CAN GUARANTEE, 100-PERCENT, NO INCIDENT.

    /// END ACT ///

    ISLAMIC MILITANTS WHO CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTACK SAID THEY WERE TARGETING ISRAELIS WHO USUALLY STAY AT THE HOTEL TO RETALIATE FOR THE ISRAELI OFFENSIVE IN LEBANON.

    MR. EL BAZ SAYS HE IS NOT CONVINCED OF THAT CLAIM, BUT HE WARNS ANGER OVER THE LEBANESE CRISIS COULD SPARK MORE VIOLENCE ELSEWHERE.

    /// EL BAZ ACT ///

    THE ESCALATION OF TENSION IN LEBANON, THE WEST BANK OR GAZA, IF AND WHEN THIS HAPPENS, HELPS INCREASE THE KIND OF ATMOSPHERE THAT WOULD BE CONDUCIVE TO RECRUITING PEOPLE FOR THIS KIND OF OPERATION. YOU WILL FIND PEOPLE MORE WILLING BECAUSE IT CREATES A CERTAIN HYSTERIA, IT CREATES AN ATMOSPHERE IN THE REGION THAT MAKES THE RESORT TO THE USE OF FORCE, INCLUDING TERRORISM, MORE LIKELY.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. EL BAZ INSISTS INCIDENTS OF TERRORISM CANNOT STOP THE PEACE PROCESS FROM MOVING FORWARD BECAUSE, HE SAYS, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. (SIGNED)

    NEB/RAE
    21-Apr-96 8:46 AM EDT (1246 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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