Monday, September 29, 2008

Egypt: European tourists released

As a result of "international collaboration."

Well, that and yesterday's killing of 6 of their captors, including the leader of the group who kidnapped them. And today's secretive military ops that isn't being discussed until the hostages are well clear of the area. The good news? No ransom was paid.

All 19 hostages, including five German and five Italian tourists, who were abducted in southern Egypt over a week ago have been freed.

Italy's Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, confirmed Egyptian media reports that the hostages were freed on Monday morning. The hostages are in the custody of the Egyptian authorities and health checks are being carried out on them, Frattini said.

The minister said the hostages' release was the result of "international collaboration".

The five Italians, five Germans and a Romanian - and their guides were kidnapped on 19 September on the Gilf al-Kebir plateau, close to the Libyan and Sudanese borders.

Since then, they have reportedly been moved around a lawless desert region touching on the borders of Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Chad.

There were reports that six of their captors were shot dead on Sunday.