Lower-ranking police officers protest slain colleagues in Al-Arish, call for governor to leave

Ahram Online, Sunday 4 Nov 2012

Protesting alongside police officers, revolutionary forces in North Sinai call for strike, demanding the removal of interior minister and Al-Arish governor

Police's vehicle that was attacked by unknown armed assailants on Saturday in North Sinai (Photo: Snap shot from ONTV)

A number of lower ranking police officers gathered late Saturday by the governorate building in Al-Arish, Sinai, along with revolutionary forces to condemn the armed assault on security officers that left three dead and another three injured earlier the same day.

On Saturday three policemen were killed in Al-Arish by unknown assailants in an armed attack that left another three injured. A security source suggested that the assault was in response to the killing of three men by police in Sinai last week.

“Our demands are to get rid of the minister of interior, the governor and his deputy, in addition to forming a new council,” Islam Queidar, a member of the Revolutionary Coalition in North Sinai, told Al-Ahram Arabic news website. He did not mention if the officers share these demands.

According to the privately-owned ONTV channel, police members are also calling for the removal of the governor, accusing him of incompetency.

Meanwhile, Nasserist Karama Party member Khaled Arafat, who also took part in the protests, told Al-Ahram that all political forces are to go on strike Sunday until the demands are met.

“There is a car driving around Al-Arish calling on citizens to join the strike tomorrow,” added Arafat.

Following news of the armed attack, several lower ranking police officers blocked Al-Arish-Rafah highway in protest at the targetting of security personnel in Al-Arish.

Sinai, on the border with Israel, has been witness to an increase in violence in recent months with recurring clashes between security forces and militants.

Bedouins living in Sinai have long-standing grievances with the Egyptian police and complain of government neglect.

A tense security presence increased in the area following the 5 August attack by unknown assailants on Egyptian border guards on the Egypt-Gaza border that left 16 guards dead and seven injured.

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