2 American tourists kidnapped in Egyptian Sinai
Published Thursday 31/05/2012 (updated) 31/05/2012 16:44
Egyptian security forces pictured in Rafah.(MaanImages/file)
El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Two American tourists were kidnapped by armed men in the Sinai peninsula early Thursday, Egyptian security sources said.
Jonathan Shizarlasky and Carter Brabon were kidnapped in the Red Sea city of Nuweiba.
The two US citizens were seized at gunpoint from a car near the Hilton hotel and taken to a mountainous area, security sources said.
"There are negotiations now between the security forces and the armed gunmen to release the tourists," a police source said, adding the Bedouin were seeking the release of one of their tribe who has been jailed in a drugs case.
"We can confirm that there were two US citizens kidnapped May 30 on the Sinai Peninsula and we are working closely with the Egyptian authorities to resolve the situation," a US embassy official said, without giving further details.
Both men arrived in Egypt on May 28 and traveled to the Sinai peninsula shortly afterward.
Six Egyptian soldiers were kidnapped by armed Bedouins in the Sinai peninsula in early May.
Two American women were held in a short-lived kidnapping in February until Egyptian authorities negotiated their release a few hours later.
Such incidents have become more frequent since the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year loosened the grip of state security and deepened lawlessness in the isolated Sinai.
Reuters contributed to this report