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Libya Says No Hostages in its Territory

The Libyan government is denying Sudan's assertion that kidnappers holding 19 people hostage have taken them from Sudan to Libya.

Libyan officials said Friday an extensive search for the hostages showed they are not on Libyan soil.

Sudanese Foreign Ministry official Ali Yousuf said Thursday the kidnappers moved their captives about 15 kilometers inside the Libyan border.

The 11 European tourists and eight Egyptians were abducted eight days ago during a desert expedition in southwestern Egypt. They were then taken across the border to Sudan.

Egyptian officials have said the German government is in contact with the kidnappers, who are said to be asking for about $9 million in ransom.

The identity of the kidnappers remains unclear.

Kidnappings of foreigners are rare in Egypt, although militants have killed many people in bombings and shootings at tourist sites.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.