Bedouin kidnappers free 4 captives, Egyptian official says
updated 7:19 AM EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
Two Brazilian tourists who were kidnapped by Bedouin tribesmen in Egypt have been freed, according to the Brazilian Embassy in Egypt.
- NEW: All four kidnap victims were freed, Interior Ministry spokesman says
- They were freed without the kidnappers' demands being met, officials add
- Two Brazilians, their guide were taken in southern Sinai
- The area has seen a rash of kidnappings in recent months
Editor's note: Read this story in Arabic.
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Two Brazilian tourists, their guide and a police officer who were kidnapped by Bedouin tribesmen in Egypt's southern Sinai Peninsula all have been freed, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Monday.
Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud on Sunday said that the tourist and their guide had been released. The whereabouts of the officer had been unclear.
Provincial officials said that an "unknown armed group" had stopped the tourists' bus near the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine's and taken the two Brazilians and the guide hostage, according to the state-run Egypt New Agency. That report did not mention a police officer being kidnapped.
The kidnappers then demanded the release of Bedouin prisoners jailed under longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, as well as the cancellation of sentences handed down in absentia.
But a security official in southern Sinai said that the the tourists and their guide were released late Sunday without any of those demands being met, according to the official Egypt News Agency report. Instead, the kidnappers heeded calls from Bedouin tribal leaders to let them go free, said the official.
There was no immediate word on the status of the police officer who the Interior Ministry spokesman had also reported kidnapped.
The southern Sinai Peninsula has seen a rash of kidnappings in recent months, including the brief abduction of two American tourists in February and the seizure of two dozen Chinese workers and a translator in late January.
Kidnappings and daylight robberies have become increasingly common in the turbulent year since Mubarak's overthrow in February 2011, with several wealthy Egyptians among those targeted by hostage-takers demanding ransom.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.