Egypt Independent

Two American tourists kidnapped in South Sinai

The police chief of South Sinai has confirmed that two American tourists were kidnapped by masked men close to Wadi Sa'al in Sinai.

Police General Mohamed Naguib, the director of the South Sinai Security Directorate, was quoted by MENA as saying that armed men attacked a small bus holding five tourists of different nationalities on their way to Sharm el-Sheikh from St. Katherine's Cathedral near Mount Sinai.

The armed men, according to Naguib, forced the driver of the small bus to change his route to the mountains. They later captured the bus, and stole money and mobile phones from the tourists, and kidnapepd the two American tourists in the group.

The masked men also seized an automatic rifle belonging to the security guard who was protecting the tourists.

Naguib has formed a committee to search for the kidnapped tourists and contacted the Bedouin leaders in the area to participate in the search.

Last week, Bedouin in Sinai kidnapped 25 Chinese workers, demanding that authorities free their fellow tribesmen from prison. They were later released.

The isolated desert region has descended further into lawlessness since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak a year ago. Recently, there have been many incidents in which residents have attacked police stations and blocked access to towns, villages and industrial sites to show their discontent.