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Govt 'will not be blackmailed' over kidnapped soldiers: Egypt's Morsi

At Sunday meeting with political figures, President Morsi stresses 'complete coordination' between ministries of interior, defence on securing release of kidnapped soldiers

Ahram Online, Sunday 19 May 2013
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (Photo: AP)

President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday declared that all Egyptian state apparatuses were working "in unison" to secure the release of seven Egyptian soldiers kidnapped on Thursday in the Sinai Peninsula.

At a Sunday meeting with party leaders and public figures convened to discuss the issue, the president said that "all options" remained available to the state, which, he stressed, would "not be subject to blackmail attempts."

Morsi went on to deny the existence of "any differences" between state apparatuses as to how to deal with the crisis, noting in particular the "complete coordination" between the ministries of interior and defence.

Following the kidnapping incident, a security source revealed that the kidnappers had demanded the release of Islamist militants detained for almost two years.

The militants were convicted of killing five security officers and one civilian during a string of attacks in June/July 2011 on an Al-Arish city police station and a North Sinai branch of the Bank of Alexandria. A total of 25 individuals were charged in the case.

Thursday's kidnapping represents the first time for security personnel to be abducted by Sinai-based militants.

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