Middle East

Korean tourists kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai peninsula

Map of Egypt

Three South Korean tourists and their Egyptian guide have been kidnapped by Bedouin tribesmen in the Sinai peninsula, officials have said.

The four had been travelling on a bus with other tourists to St Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai when armed men forced it to stop and seized them.

The kidnappers are reportedly demanding the release of fellow tribesmen detained by the authorities.

Last week, two American women and their guide were also kidnapped by Bedouins.

They were released unharmed within hours after mediation efforts between the local authorities and tribal leaders.

And on Thursday, 18 Egyptian security guards were held briefly in protest at the killing of a tribesman, according to the Associated Press.

Bedouin tribesmen in Sinai have been involved in a series of confrontations with security forces in recent months.

A gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel has also repeatedly been sabotaged, though Sinai's tourist resorts have remained largely secure.

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