Foreign tourists kidnapped in Egypt released: Officials

September 23rd, 2008 - 7:52 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Sep 23 (DPA) All the 19 tourists, including 11 foreigners, taken hostage by suspected Sudanese criminals from southern Egypt were released late Monday without payment of any ransom, Egyptian Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana said.The five Italians, five Germans and a Romanian along with eight Egyptians had been kidnapped while on a Safari near the city of Aswan and had been taken to Sudan.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit, meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, also confirmed that the hostages had been freed and were in good condition.

“They have been released, all of them, safe and sound,” Gheit said, calling the kidnappers a “group of gangsters” near the border area of Libya, Sudan and Egypt.

The tourists were being transported from Sudan to the Egyptian town of Abu Simbil, 300 kilometres south of Aswan, security sources said.

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