Egyptians Round Up 200 After Tourist Attacks

From Times Wire Services

Egyptian police detained 200 people over the weekend for questioning in two assaults on foreign tourists and were hunting for one attacker’s brother, security sources said Sunday.

Police rounded up the people in Cairo’s working-class district of Shubra el Kheima, home to a man and two women who killed themselves and wounded seven people in two attacks Saturday.

Ihab Yousri Yassin wounded four foreigners and three Egyptians when he blew himself up with a nail bomb near the Egyptian Museum on Saturday.


Police were hunting for his brother Mohammed, who was present when Yassin’s sister, Negat Yassin, and wife, Iman Ibrahim Khamis, opened fire on a tourist bus in another part of Cairo in the second attack, police Maj. Gen. Hamdi Abdel Karim told reporters.

The women did not wound any tourists. Negat Yassin shot her brother’s wife and herself. Both died. Abdel Karim said Mohammed, about 18, fled.

The authorities had previously identified Khamis as Yassin’s girlfriend. But officials said Sunday that she was his wife.

Yassin, 24, and two other men were wanted in connection with an April 7 explosion in Cairo that killed three people plus the bomber, authorities said. Police captured the two others Saturday before chasing Yassin onto a bridge ramp, where he jumped off and detonated the bomb.

Neighbors said Yassin was once a polite and happy leader of a school singing group but underwent a drastic change about four years ago, mingling with Islamic extremists, talking only about religion and forcing his sisters to wear head-to-toe coverings.

Muna Rashad, a pharmacist who worked for 16 years close to the apartment building in which Yassin’s family lived, said her initial surprise at hearing the news faded when she recalled how Yassin and his sisters had changed.

Asked why Yassin had turned to extremism, Rashad blamed the death of his mother a few years ago and the city’s poverty.

“Poverty kills the brain,” she said.