Kidnapped British tourists in Egypt freed

Bedouin tribesmen behind brief abduction; incident is latest in series of similar actions

Bedouin in northern Sinai, October 2004 (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Bedouin in northern Sinai, October 2004 (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Two British tourists in Egypt were briefly kidnapped on Thursday while driving from Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.

The two were freed after several hours by Bedouin tribesmen, who had nabbed them hoping to gain the release of four prisoners being held in Alexandria on arms smuggling charges, according to AFP citing Egyptian meda.

The kidnapped Britons were reportedly David Andrew, an employee of Exxon Mobile, and his wife Caroline.

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The Red Sea coast in southern Sinai is a popular tourist resort, but since the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, security in the region has deteriorated.

There have been several cases in the past year in which Sinai Bedouins have kidnapped tourists. Each incident has ended peacefully with the release of the hostages.

The Bedouin tribes in Egypt have expressed anger over their treatment by the new government of Mohammed Morsi. In addition to kidnapping tourists, they have attacked police stations and blocked access to towns.

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