Bedouins, police clash in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula despite agreement

Cairo- Egypt (PANA) -- Despite an agreement between Bedouin tribal leaders and th e Egyptian government allegedly being reached over the weekend, violence erupted Monday that left three tribesmen dead and dozens wounded in the latest clashes b e tween police and Bedouins in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula near the Gaza Strip.
According to reports, Bedouins responded to the murder of another tribesman Mond ay by temporarily taking over a police station and holding 25 policemen hostage.
They confiscated 72 rifles, 20,000 bullets, walkie-talkies and night-vision gogg les before leaving the area.
Monday violence came only days after a truce was supposedly established between Bedouin leaders and the Interior Ministry over the weekend, in which the ministr y assured the tribesmen the police officers involved in the killing of about four men in Sinai last week would be held accountable.
The first incident, on 10 November, occurred at a checkpoint in the Peninsula, w here an alleged Bedouin smuggler approached the police marker before turning his vehicle around.
Policemen opened fire on the car, killing the driver and wounding the passenger .
On Wednesday, a series of protests followed Monday's shooting, as tribesmen call ed for justice to be brought against the policemen involved in the killing.
Policemen attempted to curtail the demonstrations along the border near the Gaza Strip, shooting to death, no fewer than three protesters.
Bedouins responded by taking two groups of policemen hostage in separate inciden ts, calling for government action.
All the policemen held hostage have been released at the behest of tribal leader s who intervened.

17 november 2008 14:16:00




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