El-Arish residents hold last of public funerals for six men killed in police raid

Zeinab El-Gundy , Thursday 19 Jan 2017

Residents in North Sinai’s El-Arish held on Wednesday the last of six public funeral processions held over the past three days for six men killed in a police raid last Friday, with the families of the deceased calling for an independent investigation into the killings.  

Last Friday, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior released a statement saying police killed 10 terrorists who had “targeted and killed policemen in the governorate,” after the men fired shots at forces carrying out the raid.

The ministry said the 10 were involved in an attack last week on a security checkpoint that left eight policemen and one civilian dead. 

Authorities have identified six of the men killed, with four so far unidentified.

The families of the six men say that the men were in police custody shortly before the raid, but their whereabouts at the time of the raid itself were unknown.

The families have demanded that MPs representing North Sinai governorate resign in protest.  

North Sinai parliament representative Hossam El-Kashaf has declared his support for the resident’s demand for an independent investigation, saying “we have two versions of the story, which each side insisting on theirs.”

“I have already presented a request to parliament asking for [the forming of] a fact-finding committee to investigate what happened,” El-Kashaf told Ahram Online.  

El-Kashaf added that “high authorities,” which he did not name, are investigating the incident. 

The interior ministry has not yet officially commented on the families’ demands, though local media outlets have quoted “unnamed sources in the ministry” as saying that it denies all accusations. 

Egypt has been fighting an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, with hundreds of militants and security personnel killed in the conflict.

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