Thursday, November 13, 2008

Keystone Kops

No matter how one looks at this, it has to be embarrassing. The Jerusalem Post carries this report of a siege on a police checkpoint in the Sinai:
The IDF is monitoring an ongoing feud between Sinai Beduin and Egyptian policemen, although it is not overtly concerned about the situation at this stage. Armed Beduin attacked a security checkpoint Tuesday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and seized 11 policemen in a restive area near the border with Israel, an Egyptian security official said. In the clashes, Egyptian police shot and killed three Bedouin men, security and local government officials said.

The Beduin tribesmen were angered by a police shooting a day earlier that killed a suspected Beduin smuggler in the area. Smugglers use the border area to send weapons, drugs and other items into the Gaza Strip, often through underground tunnels. Traffickers also ferry African migrants seeking to enter Israel. The Beduin tribesmen raided a security checkpoint Tuesday and dragged the 10 policemen and a senior officer into getaway cars in a town 10 kilometers from the Israeli border, the security official said.

A later Jerusalem Post report put the total kidnapped Egyptian police officers at 25.
The 25 Egyptian police officers taken hostage by Beduins in northern Sinai on Tuesday have now been freed. The men were released on the Egyptian border with Israel, reportedly unharmed.

The freeing of the hostages concludes a series of events that began on Monday with a shoot-out between local Beduin and police on Monday, in which one Beduin was killed. A large and angry crowd of Beduin then gathered, firing weapons in the air, burning tires and clashing with security forces. The kidnapping took place in the context of these protests.
So tell me, who rules the Sinai?

No comments: