Egyptian official says American hostages released

Associated Press
The Rev. Jean Louis, son of the Rev. Michel Louis who was kidnapped, joins parishioners as they pray for his safe return, Sunday, July 15, 2012, at Pentecostal Church of God in Boston.  Rev. Louis was on a church trip to retrace Jesus' steps through the Holy Land with 23 other members of the clergy and worshippers when he was abducted in Egypt. Along with him, a 39-year-old Boston woman in the group and a tour guide were kidnapped in broad daylight Friday. (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)
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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — The head of Egyptian security in North Sinai and the kidnapper say two Americans and their Egyptian tour guide, abducted four days ago, have been released.

Gen. Ahmed Bakr, head of security in North Sinai, says the three were now in the protection of Egyptian security officials in Sinai.

The kidnapper, Jirmy Abu-Masuh, says he freed them Monday after officials promised they would work on releasing his uncle from prison.

He told The Associated Press by telephone after releasing the Americans that he wanted to grant them mercy, because they had nothing to do with his dispute with police.

The Boston-area residents and their Egyptian tour guide were abducted along a Sinai road to a Christian monastery on Friday.

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