All 11 European tourists and their eight Egyptian companions taken hostage in Egypt over a week ago have been freed and are in good health, state-run Egyptian TV said Monday.
The hostages taken away by gunmen in southern Egyptian desert near the border with Sudan were en route back to Cairo, said the report, quoting an unidentified official source.
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak expressed happiness over the release of the 11 European tourists and eight Egyptians who have been kidnapped by four masked gunmen during a safari trip in the southern Egyptian desert.
Egyptian Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi informed Mubarak of the release during the opening of a water plant in Kafr el-Sheikh, saying that half of the kidnappers were eliminated, according to the official Egyptian MENA news agency.
On Sunday, the Sudanese army said that six of the kidnappers who abducted the group of tourists were killed during a clash in Jabal Owainat area on the Sudanese border.
The kidnappers took the abductees to Sudan, then to Libya, but their final whereabouts were not clear.
Among the 11 abducted foreign tourists, five were Germans, five Italians and one Romanian.