Beduins release Brazilians (illustrative).
(photo credit: REUTER/Asmaa Waguih)
ISMAILIA, Egypt - Two Brazilian tourists kidnapped by Beduin tribesmen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula have been released after negotiations with the Egyptian military, a security source said on Monday.
The tourists, abducted on Sunday, were handed over to security forces near St Catherine's Monastery in the presence of Beduin tribal leaders, the source said. The tourists had been heading to the monastery when their bus was stopped by the armed Beduin.
The Beduin handed over the tourists after the authorities agreed to discuss the case of one of their tribesmen being held in jail on drug-related charges, the source said.
There have been a series of similar incidents in the Sinai Peninsula in the last year, encouraged by lapses in security since the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power.
Beduin tribesmen in the Sinai have attacked police stations, blocked access to towns and taken hostages to show their discontent with what they see as poor treatment from Cairo and to press for the release of jailed kinsmen.
Last month, two American women were held in a short-lived kidnapping until Egyptian authorities negotiated their release a few hours later. Two dozen Chinese cement factory workers were also kidnapped last month and released a day later.
Dozens of armed Beduin this month encircled a camp belonging to a multinational peacekeeping force in the Sinai for eight days before lifting their siege on Friday after negotiations with the Egyptian army.
Those Beduin had also been trying to pressure the Egyptian authorities to release tribesmen from jail.