MICHELE NORRIS, host:
In Egypt, police have detained some 90 people in connection with this weekend's bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh, and they say there is a chance that one of the attackers survived the explosions and may still be at large. Egypt's Health Ministry says 64 people died in the bombings; hospitals say the death toll was much higher. From Sharm el-Sheikh, NPR's Jackie Northam has the latest on the investigation.
JACKIE NORTHAM reporting:
The Egyptian authorities handed out the names and photographs of several Pakistani men they believe may have been involved in the bombings here in Sharm el-Sheikh. Many police and intelligence officers have been brought from Cairo to help out with the investigation. Police are fanning out over the hills in the desert behind the dozens of luxury resort hotels, and there are roadblocks along many of the roads leading out of Sharm el-Sheikh. It's believed some suspects may be hiding in tiny villages in the hill area. Tribal elders were called into the local police station today to meet with Asam al-Sarafi(ph), the chief investigator into the bombings. Police officials say the elders were asked for their cooperation.
Egyptian authorities say they feel it's unlikely that there is any connection between this weekend's bombings and the terrorist attacks in London earlier this month. Sarafi, the chief investigator, said there is a link between the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks and bombings last October in the town of Taba in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. He did not give any details. Thirty-four people died in that attack, which Egyptian authorities blamed on a disgruntled Palestinian aiming to kill Israeli tourists. One of the men accused went on trial Saturday, just hours before the bombs exploded in Sharm el-Sheikh.
More details have emerged about the three blasts over the weekend. One was left in a backpack and exploded by remote control in a popular restaurant area. Mustafa Afifi, the governor of Southern Sinai, said the investigation found that the attackers meant for two car bombs to explode at hotels. Instead, one of them went off near a covered market, killing at least 15 people. Afifi said the police believe the driver left the car shortly before it exploded; it's unclear whether the man escaped. Afifi says that the suicide bomber who blew up the Ghazala Gardens Hotel crashed into two security guards, killing them, then continued into the hotel reception before blowing up. Afifi said police will gather DNA samples from the remains of that suicide bomber.
Egyptian authorities are still trying to identify all of the dead, and there's a chance that the suspects may be mixed among them. It's confirmed that one American, 27-year-old Kristina Miller from Las Vegas, was killed in one of the blasts. Jackie Northam, NPR News, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.