A group of 10 to 15 foreign tourists has been kidnapped near Aswan in southern Egypt, Egyptian security sources said on Monday. According to Reuters, the Italian Foreign Ministry said five Italians were among those kidnapped. It said it was in contact with other countries involved. Reports said there were also five Germans, one Romanian and four Egyptians. Initial reports said there were possibly two Israelis, but this was denied later.
The group was kidnapped near Gilf el-Kabir near the Libyan border by four Egyptians wearing masks, Mustapha Tawfiq, chief of police in the southern city of Aswan, told state television.
The Egyptian security sources said it was possible the group of kidnapped tourists had been transported to Sudan. Egyptian Tourism Minister Zoheir Garrana said: "This is a gang act (by) masked men," and said talks were underway on a ransom to release the hostages. "This is an act of banditry not of terrorism," the tourism ministry said in a statement.