Two U.S. Tourists Freed by Captors in Sinai (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 07/17/12)
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Two Massachusetts tourists abducted in Egypt´s mountainous Sinai
region were freed on Monday after three days in captivity, the local
head of state security told the Reuters news agency.
Egyptian authorities had sought help from local tribal leaders to
mediate with a Bedouin tribesman who kidnapped Michel Louis, a Boston
pastor, mother-of-two Lissa Alphonse of Everett, Massachusetts, and
their Egyptian guide on Friday to protest the jailing of his uncle on
The three were released “after successful negotiations with the
mediation of sheikhs and senior tribal figures,” northern Sinai´s
head of security, Ahmed Bakr, told Reuters.
The tourists were taken to state security headquarters in Al-Arish,
the main town in northern Sinai, said Bakr, who did not give details
of the agreement that led to their release.
Reuters reported Massachusetts´ two U.S. senators released statements
expressing relief after spending the weekend in close contact with
the State Department.
“What began as a sightseeing tour turned into an unimaginable
nightmare for these Massachusetts families and thank G-d that
nightmare is coming to an end,” said John Kerry, a Democrat who is
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Republican Senator Scott Brown said, “Everyone´s prayers have been
answered...this is an emotional day.”
A security source named the leader of the kidnapping as Germy Abu
Masouh, a member of a prominent family within the Tarabin, the
biggest Sinai Bedouin tribe in Egypt.
Abu Masouh tied the release of the hostages to that of his uncle,
jailed in Alexandria after being found guilty of handling half a ton
of drugs, the source said.
Sinai has seen a series of kidnappings over the past year. Abducted
tourists have been rarely harmed so far and are usually released
within 24 hours.
In January, a Bedouin man shot and killed a French tourist in the
Sinai, in an apparent act of retribution after clashes with police.
Egyptian authorities have struggled to maintain stability in the
Sinai since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak last year.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2011 07/17/12)
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