Egypt officials negotiating to free 2 tourists

By ASHRAF SWEILAM,Associated Press Updated at 2013-03-23 18:02:38 +0000


EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian intelligence officials say they are negotiating with Bedouin gunmen to free two tourists kidnapped along a main road in the south of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The intelligence officials said Saturday that a Bedouin kidnapper abducted an Israeli man and Norwegian woman to pressure police to release a cousin who is being held for his suspected involvement in the killing of policemen in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya.

Such motives have been common in past abductions. Tourists typically are not held long and are released unharmed.

The officials say the tourists, who were abducted Friday, are being held in a desolate mountainous area called Gabal-Maghara in Sinai.

All officials spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the subject.