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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Egyptian police kidnapped in Rafah

From Ma'an:

Unidentified armed men on Sunday abducted three Egyptian officers patrolling the border with Israel, Egyptian security sources said.

Sources told Ma'an that three officers serving in Rafah's central security forces were kidnapped near the barbed wire fence separating Egypt and Israel about three kilometers south of the Kerem Shalom crossing, between Gaza and Egypt.

According to security officials, gunmen arrived in three vehicles without license plates and abducted the soldiers. Egyptian security in Rafah was negotiating with the kidnappers to release the officers, sources added.

Other sources speculated that the officers were kidnapped in retaliation for the killing of a drug smuggler shot dead Thursday in possession of a considerable quantity of hashish.
I hadn't heard about drug smugglers being emboldened by the chaos in Egypt, but certainly the Sinai has turned into the Wild West since the Egyptian revolution - a situation being taken advantage of by Bedouin, Hamas and others.

Egypt recently deployed hundreds of troops to the Sinai to help guard the gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan after part of it was blown up. Israel agreed to the extra deployment, as the number of troops in the Sinai is limited under existing agreements.