Today’s Kidnapping in Egypt

Barely a week after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Israelis against travelling to Sinai, a number of tourists and Egyptians have been kidnapped from southern Egypt and taken to Sudan, by a group I assume is not of the Buddhist persuasion.

Initial reports indicated that some Israelis were also kidnapped, but thankfully this does not seem to be the case.

Meanwhile, anyone reading the BBC’s report on the incident would get the impression that Israel was behind the attack, but was denying it. At least until reading a couple of sentences towards the end of the article.

Eleven tourists seized in Egypt

Eleven European tourists have been kidnapped along with seven other people while making an off-road tour of southern Egypt.

Five Italians, five Germans and a Romanian were taken along with seven travel guides and drivers.

Local reports said the abduction, which took place near Aswan, was carried out by tribesmen or bandits.

Egypt’s tourism minister said a ransom had been demanded and negotiations were under way.

A ministry statement said: “This is an act of banditry not of terrorism.”

Minister Zoheir Garana told Associated Press news agency that a ransom of up to $6m (£3.24m) had been demanded.

Israeli denial

The chief of police in Aswan told local television the tourists had been seized along with two guides, four drivers and the owner of a travel company who had organised their trip to an area known as Gilf al-Kebir, near the Libyan border.

Local tourist guides inside southern Egypt told news agencies that the tourists were travelling in three or four off-road vehicles.

There were unconfirmed reports that the group may have been taken across the border into Sudan.

The German and Italian foreign ministries confirmed that five nationals from each of their countries were among the group.

Both said they had set up crisis teams to deal with the incident.

The German ministry said its nationals had been missing since Friday.

There were initially reports that the group included Israeli tourists. But Israelis were not mentioned in later reports, and the Israeli foreign ministry denied any of its nationals were involved.

Thanks to Israellycool reader James for the BBC tip.

2 thoughts on “Today’s Kidnapping in Egypt”

  1. The BBC have tidied up the report now and have taken out the quotes from the main headline – I guess they decided that there were eleven tourists, that were abducted after all, so no longer need to qualify the headline with the quotes. However, the second part of the story titled "Israeli denial" has been substantially expanded, making up about two thirds of the whole piece, but still only has two sentences about the non-story that none of the eleven are Israeli. Straight reporting, concentrating purely on the facts, yet again from the BBC – what value we Brits get from our licence fee. Dave – thanks for making it a main item – I'm feeling quite chuffed!

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