[Updated at 4 p.m. ET] Three American college students arrested on suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails during a protest in Cairo were ordered released Thursday, but it was not immediately clear when that would happen. Late in the day, they remained in custody.
"We handed the release order to the police and it's in their hands now," said Adel Saeed, the official spokesman of the general prosecutor.
The prosecutor's office told CNN earlier Thursday that the students had already been released. But late in the day, a friend of the students said they could remain in custody for a few more days.
Drew Harper, a 22-year-old film student from New York who has been in Cairo for three months, said the students said they were in good spirits and cited a bureaucratic slowdown for their continuing detention.
The erroneous news that they had already been freed was embraced by Joy Sweeney, whose son Derrik is one of the three students. "We are just so blessed and so grateful right now," she told CNN. "I can't wait to give him a big hug."FULL STORY