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The Mideast

Americans kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai released

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.

Rev. Michel Louis, a 61-year-old pastor from Boston, a 39-year-old American woman and their Egyptian guide were taken off a bus on a road between Cairo and Mount Sinai on Friday while on a church trip.

Rev. Michel Louis, who is diabetic, left his medicine on the bus and security officials will have to help with getting it, Abu-Masuh said. He said Michel was tired and was sleeping a lot. He would not allow the AP to talk with the Americans.

Abu-Masuh also said that his imprisoned uncle is diabetic and claimed his relative was not getting the medical assistance he needs.

The Rev. Jean Louis, Michel's son, said his father was on a church trip with 23 other members of the clergy and worshippers when he was abducted.

A senior U.S. official said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton brought up the case of the two kidnapped Americans when she met with her Egyptian counterpart in Cairo on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.