May 22 - Egyptian soldiers are released by Islamist kidnappers and the border crossing reopens. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Members of Egypt's security forces, kidnapped last week in the Sinai by Islamist gunmen, were released Wednesday. President Mohamed Mursi welcomed them at a Cairo military base. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMED MURSI, SAYING: "We offer them our congratulations, and we offer our congratulations to their families and their relatives, and to all of the Egyptian people, on the occasion of their release without any of them being injured, thank God." Security sources 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 last September of carrying out attacks in north Sinai that killed seven people. The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt - closed for five days by Egyptian security officers angered at the kidnapping - reopened early on Wednesday. Two of the captives had worked at the crossing. The abduction points to the threat posed by radical Islamists who have taken advantage of a power vacuum in Egypt's Sinai since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.