Kidnappers seize Sadat's grand-niece

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The Independent Online

Gunmen abducted the 12-year-old grand-niece of the late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat, but released her nearly 24 hours later for 5m Egyptian pounds (£520,000) in ransom, security officials said yesterday.

Zeina Effat Sadat was kidnapped on her way to school on Sunday morning in the upmarket Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. The kidnappers were in two cars and drove the girl through three Nile Delta provinces north of the Egyptian capital before they released her on the desert road between Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Police arrested six men yesterday for their alleged part in the kidnapping, officials said. The men had a briefcase containing 2m Egyptian pounds.

Zeina was being driven to school in a family car when one of the gunmen intercepted the vehicle and forced his way into it. The kidnappers beat the driver and forced the girl into one of their cars. Sadat was assassinated in 1981. The girl's father is Sadat's nephew, businessman Effat Sadat.

Kidnap for ransom is uncommon in Egypt, but the country of 80 million people is in the midst of a crime wave that followed the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in February, with rampant armed robberies and break-ins. Police disappeared from Cairo and other major cities three days into the 18-day uprising that forced Mr Mubarak to step down on 11 February. ap

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