| SAINT CATHERINE, Egypt – Two young Brazilian girls on a bus full of pilgrims were kidnapped by Bedouins in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, according to the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia. The bus was traveling near Mount Sinai when the girls were taken.
Reports say that six armed men with faces covered approached the tour bus carrying the Brazilian girls and took them and the local guide off the bus. The remaining passengers were allowed to go. In January this year, G1 reported on a group of 50 Brazilian tourists, traveling on two buses were detained by local demonstrators in the same area.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said that in this incident, about 45 Brazilian pilgrims were returning from a visit to the historic Saint Catherine Monastery near Mount Sinai, when it was stopped by a group of armed Bedouins who took the girls. The attack was apparently in the same area as the January incident.
The kidnappers put the hostages in a car and fled into a mountainous region, according the Egyptian authorities. It is not known why the kidnappers chose the young hostages. The other Brazilians who were in the vehicle are in good condition and are being escorted by Egyptian armed forces to a hotel in a nearby town, where the will be safe.
G1 reports that a source at the Foreign Ministry said that the leader of the band of tourists was a pastor and father of the two girls, and that he was inside the bus at the time of the kidnapping. Also reported is that local authorities in the Sinai are negotiating with the Bedouin for the release of the girls.
Sources of Gabriela Gasparin and Tahiane Stochero, writing for G1 Sao Paulo, say that one of the hijackers was the father of a man convicted of drug trafficking and weapons possession. He hopes to obtain the release of his son in exchange for the hostages.
Source(s) for this article: G1 Brasil