Egypt police close Rafah border to protest kidnapped soldiers
Ahram Online, Friday 17 May 2013
Police close Rafah border in Sinai Peninsula to protest abduction of seven Egyptian security personnel, vowing to keep port closed until their colleagues return

Egyptian policemen have closed the Egyptian port of Rafah entrance and exit gates to protest the kidnapping of their fellow security personnel, Al-Ahram Arabic-language news website reported on Friday.

An official source told Al-Ahram Arabic-language news website that police members are sitting in front of the port to stop any crossing.

Soldiers along with employees at the Rafah border stressed that they will keep the border closed until their kidnapped colleagues are freed.

As a result, there has been a gathering of hundreds of Palestinians waiting to travel across the closed border.

On Thursday, seven Egyptian security personnel, including one member of the armed forces, four port security officers, and two state security officers,were kidnapped by unknown assailants in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

A security source has revealed that the kidnappers of seven Egyptian security personnel in Sinai have demanded the release of Islamist militants detained for almost two years.

The militants, who allegedly belong to the Tawhid wal-Jihad group, were convicted of killing five security officers and one civilian during a string of attacks in June/July 2011 on an Al-Arish city police station and a North Sinai branch of the Bank of Alexandria. Twenty-five individuals were charged in the case.

The security source, who asked not to be named, added that the kidnappers had accused Egyptian security forces of torturing one of the detained men.