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U.S. confirms 2 Americans kidnapped in Sinai

AP

Last Updated 2:32 p.m. ET

(CBS/AP) EL-ARISH, Egypt - A U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Cairo confirmed that two Americans have been abducted in the Sinai peninsula.

Egyptian officials in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula said the tourists - a man and a woman - were abducted along with their Egyptian tour guide by a Bedouin seeking to pressure officials to release his detained relative.

The kidnapping occurred in a mountainous region in the center of the peninsula called Sabr el-Hitan.

A State Department spokesperson in Cairo confirmed the abduction and said, "We are in close touch with Egyptian authorities who are doing everything they can to bring about their safe release."

Security officials say the Bedouin man abducted the tourists to pressure authorities to release his uncle detained in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria. The officials were speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Sinai has seen a series of kidnappings over the past year. Abducted tourists are rarely harmed and usually released within 24 hours.