Hungarian in Sinai observer force seized in Egypt

ASHRAF SWEILAM

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian security official says armed Bedouin tribesmen have kidnapped a Hungarian member of the multinational observer force in Sinai.

An official with the force confirmed the kidnapping of the Hungarian who was traveling Thursday in a bus from el-Arish in north Sinai to Cairo.

The security official said the kidnappers are demanding the release of a member of their tribe arrested earlier on drug-related charges. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

It is rare that members of the 12-nation force stationed in the Sinai are abducted by local tribesmen, who often briefly hold tourists to negotiate with the government over the release of imprisoned tribesmen. The largest contingent in the Sinai force is American.