Egyptian Police Shut Passage to Israel
Egyptian police closed a commercial passage with Israel on Sunday in support of colleagues who shut down a crossing with Gaza to protest the abduction of policemen, according to the AFP news agency, which based its report on reports in Egyptian state media.
The protesters say the commercial Al-Ouga crossing between Egypt and Israel will remain closed until three policemen and four soldiers abducted by gunmen in the Sinai peninsula are released, the official MENA news agency reported.
Police had shut down the Rafah crossing with Gaza on Friday, a day after gunmen abducted the policemen, who worked in the crossing, and soldiers.
State media has said security officials were in talks with the abductors via local Bedouin leaders who hold sway in the increasingly lawless peninsula.
A spate of hostage-taking has rocked the Sinai, which borders Israel as well as Gaza, but they usually last for no longer than 48 hours and are often carried out by Bedouin seeking the release of jailed relatives. Gas pipelines to Jordan and Israel have been bombed repeatedly.
Such abductions have been on the rise since the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak.