Americans Kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai Released

Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 23:40
Two American tourists kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula by Bedouin tribesman were released on Thursday after less than 24 hours in captivity, security and government officials told Agence France Presse.

The two men were in good health and police were escorting them to a safe place, where they were due to meet the South Sinai governor, the officials said.

They had been abducted near the Red Sea resort of Dahab late on Wednesday by Bedouin demanding the release of a tribesman jailed for drugs possession, the officials said.

The tourists were stopped at a makeshift roadblock and taken to an unknown location.

Several foreigners have been captured in Sinai in recent months by Bedouin demanding the release of tribesmen they feel have been unjustly detained. All have been freed within days.

Sinai, where most of Egypt's luxury resorts are concentrated, had long been marginalized under the regime of Hosni Mubarak and the security situation there has been highly sensitive since his ouster in February last year.

Several Bedouin were severely punished between 2004 and 2008 for attacks against resorts on the Red Sea.

The situation in Sinai has been made more difficult by the limited presence of the army, was a result of the demilitarization of the area under the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

A pipeline running through northern Sinai which supplies gas to Israel and Jordan has also faced repeated sabotage over the past year.

Source:Agence France Presse
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