Cablegate: Egypt: Explosion at Cairo Bazaar
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 002743
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC CASC EG
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
-- 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
-- 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
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
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.
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