Military and police officials in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula said on Friday that two U.S. tourists have been abducted by a Bedouin seeking to pressure officials to release his detained relative.
Officials told The Associated Press the two Americans, a man and a woman, were taken along with their Egyptian tour guide, in a mountainous region in the center of the peninsula called Sabr el-Hitan.
U.S. Embassy spokesman David Lynnfield told AP the embassy was looking into the kidnapping.
Security officials say the Bedouin man abducted the tourists to pressure authorities to release his uncle detained in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria.
Sinai has seen a series of kidnappings over the past year. Abducted tourists are rarely harmed and usually released within 24 hours.
In January, a Bedouin man shot and killed a French tourist in the Sinai, in an apparent act of retribution after clashes with police.
Egyptian authorities have struggled to maintain stability in the Sinai since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak last year.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)