Feb. 4 - Two American women kidnapped by gunmen in Egypt's Sinai are released. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
NO REPORTER NARRATION Two American women kidnapped by gunmen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Friday were released into army custody a few hours later, security sources said. Later they were filmed sitting next to the governor of South Sinai, Khaled Foda, who spoke to a journalist. The two tourists had been among a party of five travelling from Saint Catherine's monastery in central Sinai to the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh when a vehicle carrying men armed with machineguns stopped their small bus. The gunmen took the tourists' money and valuables and then forced the two women into their vehicle and fled into the mountains. The gunmen in the isolated desert region had apparently been seeking a ransom, but the security sources declined to discuss the terms of the release. However, a Bedouin source said the authorities had agreed to a demand to free four fellow tribesmen from police custody in exchange for the two tourists. Security in Sinai has deteriorated in the year since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising.