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Seven members of the Egyptian security forces abducted in the Sinai peninsula have been freed, officials say.The men were seized while travelling in minibuses in northern Sinai, east of the city of El Arish.On his Facebook page, the army's official spokesman said the release was due to "the efforts of military intelligence" and local tribal elders.The peninsula has become increasingly lawless since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011.Army spokesman Col Ahmed Ali said the seven men were on their way to Cairo.Egyptian troops had launched a sweep of north Sinai on Tuesday.On Monday, President Mohammed Morsi had ruled out negotiating with the captors, saying there was "no room for dialogue with the criminals".
Egyptian security men abducted in Sinai freedSpokesman says that policemen and border guard abducted in Sinai peninsula last week have been released.Six Egyptian policemen and a border guard abducted on the Sinai peninsula last week have been released, the Egyptian army has said in a statement.“The seven kidnapped soldiers are now on their way to Cairo after they were released thanks to the work of military intelligence, and in cooperation with the noble tribal leaders of Sinai," said army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali in a statement posted online on Wednesday.A report on state television said the hostages were released by their captors in the desert south of Rafah, near the border with Israel. President Mohamed Morsi is expected to meet them at a military airbase upon their return to Cairo.The men were abducted last week while traveling between the North Sinai towns of El-Arish and Rafah.The army had deployed hundreds of soldiers to Sinai, along with dozens of armoured vehicles and helicopters, in the wake of the kidnapping. A military operation to free the hostages was widely expected in Egypt, but also risked triggering a backlash in Sinai.The kidnappers were armed with anti-aircraft missiles and heavy machineguns, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim said on Tuesday, adding that there were no negotiations with the kidnappers, who were demanding the release of jailed Bedouin militants.It was not immediately clear if Wednesday's release was a sign that the captors' demands would be met.A spokesman for the ruling Freedom and Justice Party said on Wednesday that the Rafah crossing with Gaza, which was closed shortly after the abductions, has been reopened.