An army soldier in Sinai - Reuters
NORTH SINAI, Jan 11 (Aswat Masriya) – Unidentified gunmen kidnapped on Sunday a police officer in North Sinai's Rafah, security sources said.
The sources told Aswat Masriya that the kidnapped officer was heading back home to al-Arish after work on a bus carrying employees at the Rafah border crossing.
The militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis stopped the bus, pretending to be part of a security checkpoint. The officer was taken from the bus to an undisclosed location, the sources said.
Militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.
At least 30 military personnel were killed in a suicide blast which targeted a security checkpoint in Sinai's Sheikh Zuweid on October 24, 2014, in the worst militant attack since Mursi's ouster.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which changed its name to Sinai Province since pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the attack in a video it allegedly released three weeks later.
Militants in North Sinai have recently engaged in the kidnap and execution of Sinai residents whom they accuse of cooperation with security apparatuses.
Residents of North Sinai's Sheikh Zuweid found on Saturday the bodies of two decapitated youths, police sources said.
Tribal sources said the deceased youths were kidnapped two weeks ago by "unidentified gunmen under the pretext of cooperating with security apparatuses."
Police sources said on Saturday that there are currently seven youths kidnapped by the militant group, also for cooperating with security forces.