World Bulletin/News Desk
Seven members of Egypt's security forces who were kidnapped in Sinai last week have been released and are on their way to Cairo, army spokesman Ahmed Ali said on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
"The seven kidnapped Egyptian soldiers are on their way to Cairo after their release thanks to the efforts of the Egyptian military intelligence in coordination with the elders of the tribes and families of Sinai," he said.
Security sources said the Egyptian troops were freed in an area south of Rafah, near the border with Israel early morning on Wednesday.
Kidnapped troops arrived at the security control point and were taken to the police department.
Rafah border crossing which had been blocked following the abduction of 7 Egyptian security forces in the Sinai peninsula has been reported to be opened again.
Egyptian policemen had placed barbed wire across the entrance to the border, and closed the gates with chains, leaving a great number of Palestinians stranded on both sides of the border.
Egypt to continue operations
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday that the operation launched to free the 7 Egyptian security officers kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on May 16 would be long-term.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Almaza Airport in eastern Cairo, Egyptian President Morsi congratulated the Egyptian army, police, intelligence and the tribes in Sinai involving in the successful operation.
Morsi noted that they continue the operation launched to release the 7 Egyptian troops kidnapped in Sinai after their release, saying "The operation in Sinai is just the beginning."
The Egyptian army will remain in Sinai for a longer time, said security sources.
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Ismail Haniyeh also congratulated the Egyptian President and Egyptian army on Wednesday on the release of the 7 kidnapped troops.
Haniyeh stated that "We are all pleased on the release of the kidnapped troops. I congratulate President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian army, all state officials and the Egyptian people."
Hamas also described the release as "the success of the Egyptian army."
4 Egyptian troops and 3 policemen were kidnapped by a group of gunmen last Thursday while travelling from El-Arish town to Rafah in northern Sinai when their vehicles were stopped by armed militants in Al-Wadi al-Akhdar region.
Egyptian security forces tightened the measures along the Israeli border, and in Gaza frontier following the abduction of the 7 security officers.Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2013, 14:50