Egyptian gov’t makes contact with kidnappers of European and Egyptian tourists

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Flag of Egypt
Flag of Egypt

The Egyptian government said it had made contact with masked kidnappers who abducted 19 people, including 11 European tourists, on 19 September. According to reports, the 19 hostages have been taken across the Sudanese border. Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Zohair Garanah said however that there had been no direct contact with the kidnappers, and that those taken captive were being “well-fed and taken care of.” He did not say which channels are being used to contact the abductors. The hostages include 8 Egyptians, five Germans, five Italians and one Romanian. They had been traveling in South-western Egypt, with a security detail, on their way to Gilf El Kebir caves that are home to ancient wall paintings. The area is known for its poor security. The kidnappers are reportedly asking for as much as US$15 million before they can release the hostages. Although the kidnappings took place on 19 September, it took two days before word reached Cairo that the incident had occured.

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