Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET: CAIRO -- Two American tourists kidnapped by Bedouin tribesmen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula were released and on their way to a police station, officials told NBC News on Thursday.
The tribesmen took the two men, both aged 31, on Wednesday in the Red Sea town of Dahab -- popular for diving and windsurfing.
The two were kidnapped by members of the Tarabeen tribe in order to gain the freedom of a man from the tribe who was caught for drug possession, Bedouin and security sources told NBC News.
"We can confirm that there were two U.S. citizens kidnapped May 30 on the Sinai Peninsula and we are working closely with the Egyptian authorities to resolve the situation," a U.S. Embassy official told Reuters earlier without giving further details.
Several other tourists have been held briefly by tribesmen in recent months, but have been released unharmed. Two American women were held in a short-lived kidnapping in February until Egyptian authorities negotiated their release a few hours later.
Bedouin tribesmen in the Sinai have also attacked police stations, blocked access to towns and taken hostages to show their discontent with what they see as poor treatment from Cairo and to press for the release of jailed kinsmen.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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