CAIRO: Tribal tensions in Northern Sinai continued as a result of the shooting of a Suez police officer and the subsequent shooting of the prime suspect.
Ahmed Eid from the Tarabin tribe was the man believed to have shot dead the head of criminal investigations in Suez city Ibrahim Abdel-Maboud last September, during an exchange where two other officers were injured.
Security authorities later announced that Eid was gunned down in a shootout in Sinai as he attempted to escape arrest. The Tarabin tribe feel that another tribe, the Ayayda, were complicit in his capture and murder.
Some members of the Tarabin seem to believe that Eid was not gunned down by police forces in the shootout, but was killed by an informant from the Ayayda tribe in exchange for dropping charges leveled in absentia against the informant.
Last month clashes erupted between members of the two tribes; gunfire was exchanged and one of the sons of an Ayayda elder was injured in the shootout.
The father, Sheikh Suweilam Hamad, said that eight members of the Tarabin were involved in the shootout and he requested security forces to bring them in.
Additionally, Al-Shorouk newspaper reported that Selim Eid, the second suspect in the shooting of Abdel-Maboud, had attempted to commit suicide on the first night of his arrest, using bed sheets to hang himself but was prevented from doing so by his cellmates.
The newspaper also reported that Selim was a heroin addict who was with Ahmed Eid during the murder of Abdel-Maboud and had fired at the police vehicle.
It is believed that two relatives of Eid have since escaped from Abu Za’abal prison where they were being detained.
Sinai Tagammu party member Khalil Jabr Sawarkeh previously told Daily News Egypt, “The situation is tense between the state and tribes, and there is a lot of mistrust, and it also involves tribal disputes between the Tarabin and Ayayda.
“There is a belief that they could have arrested Eid and put him on trial instead of killing him in the shootout, he added.