Abducted Western tourists freed in Egypt

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Cairo (Egypt), Sept.29 : The eleven hostages, who were kidnapped 10 days ago by gunmen, have been freed.

The five Italians, five Germans and a Romanian, besides their guides are said to be in good health.

According to the BBC, the group that was abducted in a remote border region of Egypt, are now en route to a military base in Cairo.

During their captivity they were moved around a lawless desert area straddling Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Chad. No ransom was a paid, an Egyptian official said.

German officials had been negotiating with the kidnappers, who were demanding a ransom of 8.8 million dollars.

The freeing of the Westerners was reported on Egyptian state television and confirmed by Italian officials.

Egypt's Defence Minister said that half of the hostage-takers had been "eliminated". taly's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the freeing of the group was the result of international co-operation. (ANI with inputs)

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