Sunday, September 28, 2008

Egypt: 6 kidnappers of European tourists killed.

Hostages are now believed to be in Chad. There has been no official comment from the Chadian government at this time.

Who has assumed command since one of those killed is believed to be the group's leader?

Six of the alleged kidnappers of a group of tourists were killed by the Sudanese army in a high speed chase across desert, but the missing Europeans are still being held in Chad, Sudan's military spokesman said Sunday.

Sawarmy Khaled told The Associated Press that Sudanese military forces were combing the Jebel Oweinat region near the Libyan border when they came upon a white sports utility vehicle carrying eight armed men.

"The armed forces called for it to stop, but they did not respond and there was pursuit in which six of the armed men were killed," he said, including the leader of the group, which he identified as a Chadian named Bakhit.

The remaining two gunmen were captured and they confessed to being involved in the kidnapping a week earlier of 11 European tourists and eight Egyptians doing a desert safari in southwest Egypt.

The tourists are being held by 35 other gunmen in the Tabbat Shajara region of Chad, Khaled added.

al-Jizz is identifying one of the dead as being affiliated with a Darfur rebel group.