Skip to main content

Grandniece of slain Egyptian leader safe after kidnapping, family says

By Ivan Watson and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, CNN
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981.
  • NEW: The girl is reunited with her family
  • A brother of Anwar Sadat tells CNN earlier his grandniece was snatched
  • Kidnapping is extremely rare in Egypt
  • Anwar Sadat
  • Egypt
  • Kidnapping

Cairo (CNN) -- Less than 24 hours after suspected kidnappers in Cairo seized a 14-year-old girl who is a grandniece of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, a relative said early Monday that Zeina Sadat was back home with her family.

"Zeina has come back to home," Zein Sadat, the girl's great-uncle and one of the slain president's surviving brothers, said in a brief 1 a.m. phone call to CNN. "I am telling you that our girl is home."

Zeina Sadat was on her way to school in the upscale neighborhood of Heliopolis on Sunday when at least two men stopped the car in which she was traveling and beat up her driver, Zein Sadat said.

Sadat said the kidnappers had been in telephone contact with Zeina's father, and had demanded a ransom of 5 million Egyptian pounds (some $840,000) for her safe return. He offered few details to CNN about the details of her release.

Kidnapping is extremely rare in Egypt. And the targeting of a prominent political family is likely to raise fears in a country struggling with instability after the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak in early February.

Zein Sadat denied there were political motives for the kidnapping, saying the suspects appeared "unprofessional."

Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981.

Part of complete coverage on
'Sons of Mubarak' in plea for respect
Pro-Mubarak supporters believe Egypt's former president is innocent of charges of corruption and killing protesters.
Timeline of the conflict in Libya
Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a nationwide civil war.
Who are these rebels?
After months of seeming stalemate, Libyan rebels declared they were moving in on Tripoli. But who are they?
Why NATO's Libya mission has shifted
Six months and more than 17,000 air sorties after it began, NATO's Operation Unified Protector in the skies over Libya grinds on.
Interactive map: Arab unrest
Click on countries in CNN's interactive map to see the roots of their unrest and where things stand today.
Send your videos, stories
Are you in the Middle East or North Africa? Send iReport your images. Don't do anything that could put you at risk.
Libya through Gadhafi's keyhole
Behind the official smiles for the cameras some people in Libya's capital are waiting for the rebels, reports CNN's Ivan Watson.
How Arab youth found its voice
Tunisia's Mohamed Bouazizi not only ignited a series of revolts but heralded the first appearance of Arab youth on the stage of modern history.