Two American Tourists Released As Violence In Egypt Escalates
The State Department could not reveal the tourists' names for reasons of privacy nor could they confirm details about the tourists' release. However, thanks were in order for those who initiated negotiations with the Bedouin Tribe in a statement of appreciation issued by State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner.
The abductions will likely not fare well for Egyptian tourism which has already seen a dramatic difference since the political uprising last year that forced former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to relinquish power.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "Tourism Minister Mounir Abdel-Nour said last month that the number of tourists who came to Egypt in 2011 dropped to 9.8 million from 14.7 million the previous year. Revenues for the year clocked in at $8.8 billion compared to $12.5 billion in 2010."
Violence in Egypt since Mubarak's exit has not subsided. A riot broke out in Cairo on Friday in retaliation to Wednesday's soccer match in Egypt's northeast city of Port Said that killed 74 people. Protesters claimed the police stood idly as people were killed, citing a connection between the soccer fans and the rebels who had ousted Mubarak from power.
The riot in Cairo has continued escalating and has resulted in at least four deaths and 1,500 injuries, reported FOX News:
- Many protesters have suggested the authorities either instigated the Port Said violence or intentionally allowed it to happen to retaliate against the soccer fans known as Ultras who played a key role in clashes with security forces during the uprising that toppled Mubarak.
- "I came down because what happened in Port Said was a political plan from the military to say it's either them or chaos," said 19-year-old Islam Muharram.
The Bedouin tribe suspected of the two American tourists' kidnappings have also voiced their outrage of being discriminated by the military and subjected to random arrests.