The details of the hostages' release have not been officially confirmed. A senior military source said that the Egyptian army used a diversion strategy to secure the release of the hostages.
"The armed forces executed a diversion strategy by sending out mixed information through news agencies," the source told Al-Ahram Arabic news website.
"They (tribal leaders) were also the ones who persuaded the kidnappers to release the soldiers in the desert."
According to military spokesperson Colonel Ali, military intelligence officials played a key role in the operation to free the soldiers, who were abducted in North Sinai's capital, Al-Arish.Whatever that means. I suspect the key line is the one about the tribal elders. This sidebar story suggests that this was more of a retaliation by local tribes than a planned terror operation; as usual, President Morsi is making promises to develop the Sinai and improve life there.