Egypt Bedouin abduct two Brazilian teenage girls (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) By Samer al-Atrush 03/18/12)
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Egyptian Bedouin in the Sinai kidnapped two Brazilian teenage girl
tourists on Sunday in the third such abduction in the peninsula this
year, security officials said.
The tourists were returning from a visit to the historic monastery of
St Catherine in southern Sinai when the tribesmen seized them, the
They said they had not yet established contact with the kidnappers to
find out their demands, but they believed the perpetrators wanted the
release of jailed tribesmen in return for the tourists.
One official said two armed Bedouin stopped a tour bus and abducted
the tourists at gunpoint, before driving off with them towards the
In February, Bedouin kidnapped three South Korean tourists in the
same area, shortly after the abduction of two American women and
their Egyptian tour guide, demanding the release of jailed tribesmen.
The tourists and the guide were all released quickly and unharmed, as
were 25 Chinese workers seized at the end of January.
The sparsely populated region is where Egypt´s most lucrative tourist
resorts are located, as well as being home to a mostly poor and
disaffected Bedouin population.
Since an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak last year, the
Sinai has grown even more lawless, with attacks on police stations
and almost monthly bombings targeting a pipeline that exports gas to
The Bedouin have pressed hard for the release of captive tribesmen
they say have been sentenced unfairly on charges ranging from
terrorism to drugs dealing.
On Friday, dozens of heavily armed tribesmen agreed to end an eight-
day long siege of an international peacekeepers´ camp in the north of
the peninsula after the military promised to look into their demand.
The Bedouin said they would give the military a month to meet their
demand for the release of jailed tribesmen, some convicted on terror
charges. None of the peacekeepers, tasked with monitoring a treaty
with Israel, was harmed.
Egypt´s military, in power since Mubarak´s ouster, tried to quell
Islamist radicals in the peninsula with limited success last year,
and the authorities now appear to prefer negotiating with armed
The military has already pardoned 18 Bedouin outlaws sentenced by
military tribunals in absentia, while a state security court ordered
a new trial for five Bedouin accused of deadly bombings in two Sinai
tourist resorts in 2004. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse.
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