CAIRO: Egypt’s military has lost contact with a patrol near the frontier with Sudan and is conducting a search in coordination with neighboring countries, the official MENA news agency said on Wednesday.
“Contact has been lost with one of the border patrols near the southern international border… A search is underway in coordination with neighboring states,” MENA said, quoting a senior military officer.
The military provided no further details.
Egypt’s southern border with Sudan is relatively calm with few incidents reported there, compared with the Sinai, a major route for drugs smuggling, human trafficking, as well as weapons supplies to the neighboring Palestinian Gaza Strip.
In 2008, a group of 11 European tourists and their Egyptian guides were kidnapped by armed bandits in a remote desert area close to the southern border for 10 days.
Their release came after Egyptian security officials said kidnappers had agreed to let their captives go in return for a ransom, in a deal hammered out before Sudanese troops killed six hostage-takers in a shootout.
At the time, the Sudanese government said the kidnappers belonged to a splinter Darfur rebel group, the Sudanese Liberation Army-Unity (SLA-Unity), something the group denied.