Five police officers are being investigated in relation to last week’s kidnapping and murder of a police officer in North Sinai, according to an interior ministry press office representative Saturday.
The officers are being investigated for not abiding by standard procedures. Security personnel are required to use certain roads secured by army and police forces when travelling between Al-Arish and Rafah.
The roads are designated for police officers to use to prevent endangerment of their lives, but on this occasion, the police officer killed did not use them, the representative said.
The incident took place on 11 January, when militants stopped and abducted the officer while he was on his way to work in a car. His body was found Tuesday morning.
The Armed Forces announced the killing of five members of the militant group ‘State of Sinai’, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. Sympathisers of the group on social media claimed the militants were involved in the kidnapping and killing of the police officer.
The prosecution general has ordered a media gag on investigations and circumstances related to the incident.
In a separate incident, Aswat Masriya reported the death of a 55-year-old woman Friday evening after a mortar shell fell on her house in the southern part of Rafah. The North Sinai Security Directorate, however, did not confirm the incident.
The town of Rafah, along the Gaza border, is set to be evacuated and demolished for the construction of a buffer zone. The zone is aimed at ending the movement of goods and people in clandestine underground tunnels to the Palestinian territories.
So far, the armed forces have established a 500 metre buffer zone and are currently working on extending it to 1km, in what they describe as “phase two” of the plan. Eventually the buffer zone will extend for a total width of 5km.