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

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months