Top Egyptian diplomat: All hostages freed and safe

September 22, 2008 23:05

Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Monday evening said 11 European tourists taken hostage in a remote part of Egypt were released unharmed. The foreign minister said the group was captured by "gangsters." He did not say how he knew of their release, or whether a ransom was paid. Aboul Gheit spoke briefly to US reporters while in New York for the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly. Kidnappers seized 11 European tourists and eight Egyptians on Friday during a Sahara desert safari to an area plateau famed for its prehistoric cave paintings. The tour company had been negotiating with the captors, who demanded millions of dollars in ransom. The group included five Germans, five Italians and one Romanian.

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