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Egypt arrests French tourists over 'dangerous' safari  Nov 05, 2008

Five French tourists and four Egyptians were arrested in Egypt and charged with endangering themselves after they traveled on an unauthorised desert safari, the official news agency MENA said on Wednesday.

The tourists, aged between 42 and 85, were arrested in the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam after a safari to the nearby Wadi el-Ghadir organised by an Egyptian tour operator, MENA reported. The tour guide was among those detained.

"The prosecution in Qusair, in Red Sea province, charged five French tourists and four Egyptians, including a tour guide, with endangering their own lives, after police arrested them in Marsa Alam," the agency said.

Tour companies must get security permits to conduct desert safaris in Egypt.

A French embassy official said the embassy was unaware of the arrests.

In September, 11 European tourists were kidnapped by armed bandits and taken across the border to Sudan and Chad.

The hostages, who were held for 10 days, were released following a shootout between some bandits and Sudanese troops that killed six hostage-takers.

Egypt arrests French tourists over 'dangerous' safari
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