Causes

Sinai Bedouins Kidnap 2 American Tourists In Egypt

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

(CBS/AP) EL-ARISH, Egypt — The U.S. Embassy in Cairo tells CBS News two American tourists were kidnapped Wednesday while traveling in the Sinai Peninsula.

 

Egyptian security officials say armed Bedouins snatched the two while they were traveling by car from Dahab to the resort of Nuweiba. Both resorts are on the Red Sea‘s Gulf of Aqaba.

 

Local media have identified the men as 31-year-old Americans Jonathan Shizarlasky and Carter Brabon, with some outlets even reporting their passport numbers. CBS News has not been able to confirm the identities of the abducted men.

 

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

 

The abduction was the latest in a series of kidnappings in Sinai, which has seen a surge in lawlessness over the last year, since the fall of the autocratic regime of Hosni Mubarak in the popular Arab Spring uprising.

 

Bedouins have been kidnapping tourists to pressure authorities to release detained relatives or to improve basic services in their areas.

 

The Bedouins snatched the two as they were traveling in a car from Dahab to Nuweiba, resort towns on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba. The two Americans are men in their early 30s, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

 

The abduction was the latest in a series of kidnappings in Sinai, which has seen a surge in lawlessness over the last year. Bedouins have been kidnapping tourists to pressure authorities to release their detained relatives or to improve basic services in their areas. Past kidnappings have ended peacefully.

 

The security officials said the latest kidnapping may have been carried out by Bedouins protesting Tuesday’s arrest of fellow tribesman Eid Suleiman Aytawi on suspicion of trafficking in drugs.

 

Negotiations were underway to secure the release of the two, the officials said.

 

 

 

 

 

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