Sinai residents clash with police at protest over security vacuum

Ahram Online, Monday 20 May 2013

Citizens protested the lack of security following the kidnapping of a local businessman

Clashes erupted Monday between police and citizens in Al-Tur, the capital of South Sinai governorate, after a protest against the region’s deteriorating security situation.

Hundreds of Al-Tur citizens staged a protest at the governorate's security directorate following the kidnapping of Mostafa Saad, an auto-parts company owner in the city.

According to Ahram’s Arabic website, a number of protesters set tyres on fire, blocking the road leading to the directorate, and threw stones at the building.

Security forces reportedly responded by firing gunshots in the air to disperse the crowds, and chasing some of the protesters in the streets.

Saad was kidnapped on Monday, when unknown armed persons took him from his car. His car was later found in front of Al-Tur Stadium.  

Sinai has experienced a particularly severe security gap since the 2011 uprising.

Many residents have long-standing grievances against central authorities, accusing them of neglecting the region and contributing to its lack of development.

Residents also complain of heavy-handed policing and a failure to respect human rights.

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