"There is smoke coming from the area and there are people running everywhere," said the witness, who did not want to be named.
The explosions were heard about 7:15 p.m. local time, the witness said. A interior ministry official confirmed there had been explosions but said he had no further information. "There were explosions but the picture is still not clear," he said. Police officials said more than 20 ambulances and police cars were rushing to the el-Masbat section of the city.
Last July, at least 60 people, including foreigners, were killed and more than 200 were wounded when two car bombs and a suitcase ripped through hotels and shopping areas in Egypt's tourist area of Sharm el-Sheikh.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:09pm: The AP is now reporting that "Three explosions in the Egyptian resort city of Dahab have left at least 100 people dead or wounded, said a doctor in charge of the rescue squad."
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:17pm: Details on what was hit emerging. One blast hit the el-Mashrabiyah Hotel, a second a restaurant and the third explosion rocked the resort town's market area.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:22pm: Reports on probable nationalities of victims: The Sinai resort is commonly frequented by Israeli holidaymakers and is located on the Gulf of Aqaba on the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula. Germans, Italians and British tourists were also reported to be in the area.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:26pm: al-Jazeera is reporting that at least 12 people were killed and 90 wounded. MSNBC is reporting at least 10 deaths.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:31pm: Conflicting reports as to what was hit by the bombs. Jerusalem Post says the bombs were apparantly placed on a bridge, in the El-Kalheeg Hotel cafeteria and near a police station prior to the explosions.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:36pm: The latest AP report: At least 17 people were killed and more than 150 wounded at just one hotel... There have been a string of attacks in Egypt's Sinai peninsula over 18 months. They included al-Qaeda-style bombings in the Egyptian resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan in October 2004, killing 34 people, and in Sharm el-Sheik in July 2005, killing 63.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 2:57pm: AP: The Egyptian government has said the bombings were carried out by locals without international connections, but other security agencies have said they suspect al-Qaeda... In Israel, the country's rescue service said it had raised the alert level. Israeli Channel 10 TV reported that Israel had closed the border crossing at Taba, preventing vehicles from entering Sinai. It said a stream of Israeli vehicles were leaving Sinai.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 3:07pm: Egyptian authorities said the blasts were likely not caused by suicide bombers but rather bombs that had been planted.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 3:10pm: Reuters reports that Egyptian rescue officials now put the death toll at 30. The director of rescue services in South Sinai province put the number of wounded up to 160.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 4:08pm: Authorities at the Israel-Egypt border are under orders to allow any Israeli to cross from Sinai even without an Israeli passport.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 4:27pm: President Bush has condemned the attack, calling it a "heinous act against innocent civilians." Bush also said "We keep those were injured in our thoughts and prayers and I assure the enemy this - we will stay on the offense, we will not waver, we will not tire, we will bring you to justice for the sake of peace and humanity."
UPDATE 4/24 @ 4:55pm: Fox News has an eyewitness account video here.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 5:17pm: The AP has collected quotes from some witnesses.
• "At the restaurant, there is nothing there. The tables and chairs have gone, there is nothing left," said Joseph Nazir, who owns a safari company in Dahab. "Everybody is panicking, a lot of people are crying. We will be affected by this for a long, long time."
• British tourist Paul McBeath said he heard the explosions at about 7:15 p.m. and told Sky News that there had been "no warning whatsoever." "There were just three loud bangs and people rushing around," McBeath said. "Everybody is shaken."
• A man identified as Serge Loussararian told CNN that an explosion took place in an area with restaurants and bars. "We heard the explosion and then we saw a big light. And a lot of people running," he said.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 5:24pm: Reuters has video here.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 5:36pm: Israeli columnist Ze'ev Schiff writes that this attack is indicative of Egypt's failure to prevent al-Qaeda's ongoing infiltration into Sinai and the recruitment of new terror cells.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 5:44pm: Jerusalem Online has video here.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 5:47pm: Senior Israeli security officials said the attacks were likely carried out by Global Jihad or al-Qaeda cells known to be in Egypt and Jordan. Cells of terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda, one official said, were known to be operating in the hills and caves in the Jabal Halal region in the northern Sinai and were believed to have been behind the latest terror attacks in Sinai, including the bombings in Sharm el Sheikh in July and Taba last year, which together killed over 100 people.
UPDATE 4/24 @ 5:52pm: It's still fashionable to just blame the Jews... Egyptian analyst says that Israeli Mossad can't be ruled out as being involved in the attack.