Official sources in the northern Sinai Peninsula reported on Thursday that an unidentified number of armed Bedouins kidnapped two police officers and 17 armed recruits, following the murder of a man by a police officer on the Egyptian-Israeli border. The man had been attempting to smuggle tobacco into Israel.
The kidnapping took place at the central security unit in northern Sinai.
Sinai is known to be a volatile area, sharing a border with Israel. The local Bedouin community has often complained of the Egyptian government’s neglect.
The city of Al-Arish, also in northern Sinai, has repeatedly witnessed attacks on the gas pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan – most recently on 5 February 2012, bringing the total number of attacks over the past year to 12.