- Sudan armed forces have shot and killed six kidnappers who nabbed 11 European tourists and Egyptian guides in a remote desert in southern Egypt, Sudanese officials said.
The shootings come as negotiations continue for release of hostages, with kidnappers demanding US $8.8 million ransom.
"Sudanese forces followed tracks of the kidnappers and found them on the Chad border," Mahjoub Fadl Badri said, further indicating that two other suspected kidnappers have been taken into custody while tourists remain in captivity in Chad.
"Kidnappers say hostages are still in Chad, they put them in a hideout and are still negotiating about them, but we have no details whether the Chadian army has moved in," Mr Badri said.
Army spokesman, Sawarmy Khaled, said Sudanese forces were near Libyan border when they encountered a white vehicle carrying eight armed men.
"The armed forces called for it to stop, but they did not respond and there was pursuit in which six of the armed men were killed, including the group's leader identified as a Chadian named Bakhit," he said.
A Sudanese soldier was also injured in the clash, Egypt's official MENA news agency quoted Sudanese army as saying, adding that hostages were now being held at a place called Tabbat Shajara, just inside Chad.
He said remaining two gunmen who had been captured, had confessed to being involved in kidnapping tourists and their guides, who were on desert safari.
The vehicle bore Egyptian registration plates and belonged to an Egyptian tourism company, Mr Khaled added.
Kidnappers have demanded that Germany take charge of payment of an $8.8m ransom. However, German officials have declined comment. Kidnappers are further reported to have demanded that ransom money to be handed over to German wife of the tour organiser.
Officials have said tourists are being held by 35 other gunmen in the Tabbat Shajara region of Chad.
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