Confusion over hostages in Egypt

Contradictory reports emerge about whether abducted tourists have been freed or not.

    Those snatched in southern Egypt included
    five Italians [AFP]

     

     

    Mena, Egypt's official news agency, however, stated that negotiations were still under way to secure the release of the hostages.

    Al Jazeera's Amr el-Kahky, reporting from Cairo, also said his contacts on the ground had failed to confirm the release.

    There was more confusion as Zoheir Garrana, the Egyptian tourism minister, said only the Egyptians among the hostages were freed.

    Timeline


    Tourist attacks in Egypt

    The Italian foreign ministry and Egyptian security sources earlier confirmed the abduction of the group, which included at least five Italian nationals.

    "Foreign minister Franco Frattini... is following the matter of the kidnapping in Egypt of a group of foreigners including five Italians," the ministry said in a statement.

    The other people seized were eight Egyptians, five Germans and one Romanian.

    Ransom demand

    Garrana described the abductions as "a gang act [by] masked men".

    Mustapha Tawfiq, chief of police in the southern city of Aswan, told state television that four men abducted the group near Gilf el-Kabir, an uninhabited region near the borders with Libya and Sudan.

    Egyptian sources said the kidnappers had asked for between four and six million dollars in ransom, although it was not possible to confirm the sum.

    Garrana later said the hostages "had been moved outside the Egyptian borders".

    Al Jazeera's el-Kahky said that it was believed the victims were taken to northern Sudan across Egypt's border.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.