Egyptian officials have said that reports alleging that the 11 European tourists, including a Romanian one, in Egypt were untrue and that negotiations were continuing for their release, according to the AFP and Reuters. Prior to the announcement, Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit had said during a meeting with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice that the total of 19 people kidnapped by an armed group in his country had been released.

UPDATE: Kidnappers said on Tuesday they would kill the hostages should the army continue looking for them. Prior to that, the Egyptian Tourism Ministry said the condition of the hostages was good.

According to the Romanian consul to Cairo and international news reports, a Romanian woman aged 33, who was established in Germany, was among the kidnapped. THe information was confirmed by Romanian officials later on Monday.

Earlier yesterday, Italian news sources quoted Al Jazeera as reporting that the kidnapped had been released.

On Monday morning, Reuters quoted a spokesman of the Egyptian government as saying that negotiations with the kidnappers were continuing. The kidnappers are said to claim millions of euro for the release of the Europeans.