Egypt puzzled after string of Red Sea shark attacks

Mon Dec 6, 2010 2:14pm GMT
 

By Mohamed Zaki

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Reuters) - Shark attacks on tourists in the Red Sea have triggered a flurry of speculation as to what could have caused them, with suggestions ranging from overfishing to an Israeli plot to harm Egyptian tourism.

The body of a 70-year-old German woman washed up on the shore at Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea after an attack Sunday. Officials said the shark had taken a chunk out of her right thigh and bitten through her right elbow.

Egypt had just lifted a ban on swimming in parts of the area imposed after three Russians and a Ukrainian were injured in shark attacks last week.

The government has invited international experts to help locate the killer shark but officials were at loss as to what could have caused its behaviour.

"There is not one reason that will be ignored. We are seeking any reason that causes a change in shark behaviour," Ahmed el-Edkawi, assistant secretary for the South Sinai region, told Reuters.

Some said sharks had been drawn to shallow waters after cattle being shipped in for last month's Islamic feast of the sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha, had died and were thrown overboard.

Others suggested it could have been part of a secret plot by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.

"What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark (in the sea) to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm," South Sinai Governor Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha was quoted as saying by state news site egynews.net.   Continued...

 
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