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Kidnappers free 2 Brazilian women in Egypt’s Mt Sinai

AL-ARISH, EGYPT (BDCi) – Armed tribesman freed two Brazilian women and an Egyptian police officer who was with the late Sunday, hours after abducting them in the Sinai desert, a security official said.

The head of security in Egypt’s south Sinai, Mahmoud Hefnawi, said two tourists and the police officer were released unharmed.

Earlier Sunday, six armed men with covered faces approached the tour bus carrying the Brazilian women and took the two and the police officer off the bus. The remaining passengers were allowed to go.

The tourists were near the sixth century St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai, one of Egypt’s most popular tourist sites.

Hefnawi said the kidnappers agreed to release the three after tribal elders spoke to them.

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said negotiations to free the women were handled by the Egyptian Interior Ministry, closely by the Brazilian Embassy in Cairo.

Tribesman in the area have abducted tourists in recent weeks to pressure Egyptian authorities to release their own detained relatives.

An Egyptian said the abductors were identified as Bedouins from the area who have a relative detained on possession of drugs and illegal weapons.

By: Natania Levine Courtesy: Photo: 19 March 2012

10:02 a.m P.D.T

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