Czech tour guide kidnapped at gunpoint in Egypt

Ahram Online, Thursday 22 Mar 2012

Armed gang force 35-year-old woman from tour bus in Nuweiba in Sinai Peninsula, flee to mountains, fourth tourist kidnapping in region this year

A Czech tour guide was kidnapped by four armed assailants early Thursday morning in the coastal town of Nuweiba in the Sinai Peninsula.

The 35-year-old woman was on board a "Travel Ways" tourist bus on its way back to Sharm El-Sheikh after a trip to Nuweiba. The bus was attacked by four armed men who were in a truck with no licence plate. They stopped the bus using automatic weapons before forcing the woman to get onto their truck and fleeing with her towards the mountains.

The bus had 12 Czech tourists at the time of the attack who were sightseeing in the cities of Taba and Nuweiba and were heading to Sharm El-Sheikh to continue their tour.

According to initial investigations, the Czech guide is married to an Egyptian who works for the same tour company.

This is the fourth kidnapping involving tourists in Sinai in recent months. In March, two Brazilian tourists were kidnapped along with their tour guide by armed Bedouin. They were released after eight hours. In February, three South Korean women were kidnapped in Sinai by armed tribesmen. Also in February, two US tourists were kidnapped, again by armed assailants in Sharm El-Sheikh. In all cases, the foreigners were held for a short period of time and released unharmed.

During the four incidents, the foreigners were abducted while on board tour vehicles and were released after negotiations with security officials. The kidnappers usually demand the release of jailed tribesmen in return for the hostages.

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