Exxon Mobil’s Egypt Country Head Released Safe After Kidnapping

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest energy company by market value, said the head of its Egypt and Cyprus unit was released safely with his wife after “being held briefly” by kidnappers in Egypt.

Andy Wells and his wife were held by gunmen in Sinai earlier today demanding the release of defendants in an arms smuggling case, Mahmoud El-Hifnawy, head of security in South Sinai, said by phone. Exxon Mobil said the couple were released without being harmed, according to Alan Jeffers, a company spokesman, in an e-mailed statement.

Sinai has been the site of several kidnappings of tourists since the start of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011, highlighting the diminished ability of the country’s police force to provide security. Two Americans and their Egyptian tour guide were taken hostage in the peninsula for four days in July before being released safely.

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