The Sudanese army says that it killed six alleged kidnappers in a high speed chase across the northern Sudanese desert, but the missing Europeans themselves are still being held in Chad.

Sudanese military spokesman, Sawarmy Khaled, has told The Associated Press that the army came upon a vehicle filled with eight armed men not far from the Egyptian border and gave chase when they refused to stop.

In the ensuing gunbattle, he said, six were killed. The remaining two said the kidnapped Europeans were being held in Chad.

Khaled described the leader of the group as being Chadian.

A desert safari tour of 11 Europeans and eight Egyptians were kidnapped by gunmen deep in the southern Egyptian deserts on Sept. 22.