Egypt hotel bomb suspect and wife die in gun battle with police
EGYPTIAN police have shot dead one of the prime suspects in the bombings which killed at least 64 people in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last month, the country's interior ministry said.
Mohamed Fulayfel was killed in the exchange near Gebel Ataqa, a hill 11 miles west of the town of Suez, the ministry announced. It did not say when the gunfight took place.
Fulayfel's wife was also killed and the couple's four-year-old daughter injured in an exchange of fire with police, a security source added.
Police investigating the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings were looking for Fulayfel, who was also on trial in his absence for bombings at three Red Sea resorts last October. One bomb, at the Hilton hotel in the town of Taba, killed 34 people.
Fulayfel's brother, Suleiman, was killed in the Hilton blast, along with a Palestinian man who police said masterminded the operation. Police said they died because their timing device did not work properly.
The ministry said that security forces, acting on a tip-off, were approaching a group hiding in quarries in the Gebel Ataqa area when gunmen opened fire at them.
"Police forces immediately dealt with the source of fire and it became clear that Mohamed Ahmed Saleh Fulayfel had been killed. He was in the company of his wife, who was wounded and taken to hospital for treatment," it added. Fulayfel's wife, who was not named, died on the way to hospital.
Authorities suspect that the Taba and Sharm el-Sheikh bombings - the worst attacks in Egypt since 1981 - were all the work of a group of Bedouin based in northern Sinai.
Police had been searching the mountains of southern Sinai for people who might have information on the attacks. Gebel Ataqa is about 200 miles away to the north-west, on the African side of the Suez Canal.
Authorities have taken DNA samples from the families of four other north Sinai men they suspect of belonging to the group to see if it matches that of any of the bodies found at Sharm el-Sheikh.
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