CAIRO: Bedouins who kidnapped a Singapore tourist in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula Friday released him after several hours, a security source said.
"He was handed over to the security forces," the source said.
The Bedouins were demanding the release of one of their tribesmen arrested for possessing drugs, security officials said.
The freeing of the tourist, one of a group of 20 visiting Sinai, was confirmed by Egypt’s official news agency MENA, which said it came after "efforts by the security forces in coordination with the chiefs of tribes."
The tourist was abducted in the central Sinai where several foreigners have been kidnapped over the past months by Bedouins demanding the release of tribesmen they feel have been unjustly detained.
All of the previous hostages were later released unhurt.
Two American tourists kidnapped near the Red Sea resort of Dahab were released last month after less than 24 hours in captivity.
Bedouins living in the Sinai, where most of Egypt’s luxury resorts are concentrated, had long been marginalised under the regime of Hosni Mubarak and the security situation there has been tense since his ouster in February last year.
Several Bedouins were severely punished between 2004 and 2008 for attacks against resorts on the Red Sea.
The situation in Sinai has been made more difficult by the limited presence of the army as a result of the demilitarisation of the area under the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
A pipeline running through northern Sinai which supplies gas to Israel and Jordan has faced repeated sabotage attacks over the past year.
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