Kidnapped officer killed with two gunshots to the head – prosecution

Tuesday 13-01-2015 04:27 PM
Kidnapped officer killed with two gunshots to the head – prosecution

Two Egyptian soldiers stand guard in the Sinai Peninsula - Reuters archive


CAIRO, Jan 13 (Aswat Masriya) – The kidnapped officer whose body was found in North Sinai earlier on Tuesday died due to two gunshots to the head, the public prosecution said, citing a medical report.

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped on Sunday police officer Ayman al-Desouki, who worked at the Rafah border-crossing.

Armed forces Spokesman Mohamed Samir accused "terrorist elements" of killing the officer, in a statement released earlier on Tuesday.

Samir said army forces and police forces raided areas harbouring "terrorist elements" in North Sinai's al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, where they suspected Desouki was kept. The raids left 10 "terrorists" killed, he added.

The prosecution said the heavy security presence surrounding the abductors "throttled" them, prompting them to shoot the officer dead.

The kidnapped officer was heading to work in a taxi on the Rafah-Sheikh Zuweid International Road, when militants abducted him, the prosecution said.

The prosecution questioned the taxi driver, who described the assailants during the investigation, it added.

The public prosecution reiterated in its statement a gag order it imposed on Monday against media coverage of the officer's kidnapping. The order excludes official statements released by the prosecution.

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. 

Egypt’s most active militant group 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.

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