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Egyptian tourist guide releases four hostages

An Egyptian tour guide early today released four German tourists he had held for more than three days in a desperate bid to end a child custody dispute, police said. He then surrendered peacefully.

A police official at the scene, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the release and surrender. He said doctors examined the hostages and found them to be unharmed.

Hours before, Ibrahim Ali el-Sayyed Moussa had said he regretted threats he made to kill his hostages unless his German wife brought the couple's two sons back from Germany.

Police said Moussa's wife, whom he married in 1991, returned to her country with their two sons, aged 7 and 3, a year and a half ago after a marital dispute. Moussa also has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage who lives in Egypt with him, according to police.

Moussa, 45, kidnapped the four Germans on Monday near Luxor, about 280 miles south of Cairo.

He was reportedly armed with a handgun and an explosive device and holding his hostages at his home just south of Luxor.