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Sinai Bedouins demand release of tribesmen

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demanding authorities release jailed tribesmen and revoke prison sentences leveled in absentia against some of their kin.

Tuesday’s protest in the Sinai Peninsula forced several tourist busses to stop along two roads leading to Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea and St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai.

Tensions are intensifying between the nomad Bedouins and the Egyptian government, which they accuse of discrimination and of ignoring their plight. There have been several attacks on police stations in the region.

The protesters are also demanding the government provide jobs and a fairer distribution of land.

Bedouins are accused of smuggling people, mostly Africans, into Israel.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and top military officials met with heads of Bedouin tribes last month in a bid to diffuse the tension, promising and end to discrimination and a string of development projects. –Additional reporting by Daily News Egypt


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