EL-ARISH, Egypt: Security authoritieson Thursday released40 Egyptians who had been detainedseveral months ago inthe investigation into deadlybombings at tourist resorts inthe Sinai Peninsula.
Hundreds of cheering family members greeted the freed detainees, while others stood by disappointed that their sons were not among those freed.
The detainees were brought from prison to the State Security Intelligence headquarters and were seen leaving the building one after the other.
Since an Egyptian police sweep in the Sinai began last August, more than 700 Egyptians have been detained in connection with the attacks, although many of them subsequently have been released.
The first attack a year ago on Oct. 7, 2004 killed 34 people, including 11 Israelis, in the Sinai resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan. Last July there was an even deadlier attack: a triplebombing in the Sinai resort of Sharm El-Sheikh that killed at least 63 people.
Officials said both attacks could be the work of the same militant group.
In the subsequent crackdown and search for suspects, several suspected militants were killed in Sinai s mountains and desert plains that have long been a haven for fugitives and Bedouin tribesmen involved in smuggling and drug trafficking.
Last month police killed a key suspect and two other militants in a shootout when security forces raided their hide-out in the Halal mountain range in the Sinai. AP