The UK foreign office has said two Britons, who were reportedly kidnapped in Egypt by local gunmen, have been released.

"We are pleased to confirm Egyptian authorities told us they are now free," a spokesman for the Foreign Office said.

The two were driving from Egypt's capital of Cairo to the holiday resort of Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea when their car was stopped by members of a local tribe, Reuters reported.

The incident happened near the city of Ras Sidr in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

Oil giant Exxon-Mobil confirmed to IBTimes UK that the two abductees, a man and a woman, are employed by the company, but no further details were given.

The two are believed to be husband and wife and aged 51 and 48.

The pair was taken to an unknown mountainous location and set free after a few hours, following negotiations between the army and elder tribesmen.

The kidnappers reportedly demanded the release of four prisoners held in Alexandria on charges of arms smuggling.

Security in the Sinai Peninsula has deteriorated since the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.