Tomislav Salopek: Fate of the Kidnapped Croat Still Unknown

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Still no word on the fate of Tomislav Salopek.

“Tomislav Salopek was an easy target, and not a mistake. The extremists of the Islamic State knew very well whom they were kidnapping”, said yesterday Mahmoud El Mamlouk, an editor of Cairo newspaper “The Seventh Day” (Alyom-Alsabea). He has been closely following the case of Tomislav Salopek, who was kidnapped in Egypt on July 22. On Wednesday, an ultimatum was announced: if Muslim women are not freed from jail within 48 hours, the hostage will be killed, reports Jutarnji List on August 9, 2015

The deadline has since passed. It is assumed that it expired on Friday at about 6 pm. Afterwards, there was speculation that it had been extended for two more days, but there is no confirmation. The fate of the hostage wasn’t any clearer yesterday. There were no new information about where he is located and what is being done to free him. The key information remain hidden from the public.

Mahmoud El Mamlouk said the captors have targeted Salopek. Since he was working for a French company, maybe their original plan was to kidnap a Frenchman. “They know what they are doing. They have verification and monitoring protocols. Perhaps they hired someone from the area where Salopek worked. They knew exactly when to act”, said El Mamlouk.

According to official sources, the search for Tomislav Salopek continues. Croatian and Egyptian authorities continue to cooperate on the issue, and the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that it was doing everything to locate the kidnapped Croat. “We will spare no effort in an attempt to protect him”, said the Ministry. At the same time, the Egyptian Interior Ministry is trying to determine how was it possible for the kidnappers to break through to the Sinai with their hostage.

It is still not clear whether the intense diplomatic actions to save Tomislav had any success. Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusić, accompanied by Tomislav’s wife and sister, travelled earlier to Egypt. There she met with Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Sukri, who later announced that the authorities are working intensively to locate the hostage.

The minister returned to Croatia early on Saturday morning. “The Croatian government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continue to work to resolve the case of the kidnapped Croatian citizen. Because of the sensitivity of the situation, at this moment we cannot disclose any more detailed information”, said spokeswoman Danijela Barišić. Tomislav’s wife and sister have also returned to Croatia.

The whole of Croatia remains in suspense, asking itself the same question: why?

“The goal was to put pressure on the Egyptian government, among other things because of the Suez”, said Mahmoud El Mamlouk. “Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the hostage is already dead and that this issue is being used to disgrace the Egyptian government”. We can only wait and hope that is not the case.


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