Egypt: US Citizen Arrested for 'Breaking Curfew'

Egyptian sources claim arrested man is a retired US armed forces officer.

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Ari Soffer,

(Illustration) Egyptian soldiers
(Illustration) Egyptian soldiers
Flash 90

Egyptian security forces have arrested an American citizen in the country's restive Sinai Peninsula.

State media reported that the man - named as James Henry Lunn and described as a retired US army officer - was arrested on Al-Arish road for breaking a curfew in place across 14 Egyptian provinces. The curfew was decreed as part of the state of emergency imposed by the interim Egyptian government, as part of its attempts to quell violent unrest over the ouster of former president Muhammed Morsi.

The 55 year-old US citizen was reportedly on his way to Gaza at the time of his arrest, although it was not clear what the purpose of his trip was or why he chose to break the curfew, which is in force from 9pm to 6am daily.

At least nine foreign nationals were detained in Cairo earlier this month for involvement in violent clashes between Morsi's supporters and security forces, following the dispersal a number of pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14th August, according to Egyptian sources.

The Sinai Peninsula has been particularly violent, with Islamist terrorist cells carrying out numerous gun and rocket attacks against Egyptian army targets, including one attack in which two dozen Egyptian policemen were captured and executed.

Muslim extremists have also targeted local Christians, and mounted sporadic attacks against Israel. The Egyptian army is currently engaged in an operation to root out Islamist terrorists from the region.