The Sudanese army said on Sunday it had killed the leader of a group that abducted 11 Western tourists and eight Egyptians and said the hostages were now in Chad, the state-run SUNA news agency reported. The agency quoted a statement from the army that it killed five other gunmen and detained two in a gun battle after a high-speed chase near the Egyptian border.
The army said "preliminary information" indicated the 19 hostages were inside Chad under the protection of 30 armed men.
The army seized a white car and a bus belonging to an Egyptian tourism company, with papers linking the gunmen with a faction of the Darfur group Sudan Liberation Army, SUNA reported.
According to Reuters, Egypt said eariler this onth four masked kidnappers seized the tourists and the eight Egyptians while they were on safari in a remote desert area and took them across the border into Sudan. An Egyptian government official said on Saturday the hostages were inside Sudan.
The army statement said the leader of the kidnappers was a Chadian named Bakhit. It said five Sudanese soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire.