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Egyptian security officers are freed by Islamist kidnappers

Egyptian security officers are freed by Islamist kidnappers
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Seven Egyptian security officers kidnapped in Sinai last week have been released.

The men arrived at a military base in Cairo on Wednesday morning where they were received by President Mohamed Mursi and government ministers.

Security forces said the men were freed following talks mediated by Bedouin tribal leaders.

The kidnappers had demanded the release of members of an Islamist group convicted of carrying out a series of attacks in North Sinai in 2011 that killed seven people.

It is not known if any concessions were made to ensure the release of the hostages.

The men had been seized while travelling in minibuses in northern Sinai, between the city of el-Arish and Rafah.

The abduction highlights the lawlessness in the desert peninsula which has become increasingly unstable since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt which had been closed following the kidnapping has now been re-opened.