Bedouin tribesmen kidnapped 18 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, near the border with Israel, on Thursday, according to a report on Israel’s Channel 10 News.
Security officials were quoted in the report as having said that the kidnapping came in retaliation for the killing of tribesman who was shot by the Egyptian army while trying to infiltrate into Israel.
The officials added that the Bedouin kidnapped the soldiers as they were stationed in different positions along the Israel-Egypt border. Some of the guards were kidnapped while driving in patrol vehicles along the border fence, the officials said.
Channel 10 reported that Egypt’s security agencies are in contact with the kidnappers to secure the release of the soldiers.
Thursday’s incident comes after last weekend two American tourists and their Egyptian guide were kidnapped in the Sinai Peninsula. The three were released after several of negotiations hours between the government and the members of the Bedouin tribe who kidnapped them.
Last month, four armed gunmen tried to break into the Taba Heights hotel in the Sinai Peninsula, which is popular among Israelis.
The gunmen reportedly drove a bus without license plates and attempted to break into the hotel, but security guards fired at them and prevented them from breaking in. An exchange of gunfire ensued and the gunmen fled without being arrested.
The Sinai Peninsula has been in a state of anarchy ever since the revolutions in Egypt that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.
Terrorists have been taking advantage of the situation to carry out attacks from the Sinai region, such as the deadly terror attacks near Eilat last August, which left eight Israelis dead.