Bedouins hold Fiji peacekeepers in Sinai: sources

Reuters News
Posted: May 07, 2012 1:21 PM
Bedouins hold Fiji peacekeepers in Sinai: sources

CAIRO (Reuters) - Bedouins in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula kidnapped 10 Fijian members of a multinational peacekeeping force on Monday and demanded Egypt free fellow tribesmen from prison, Egyptian security sources said.

The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) could not be immediately reached for comment.

The remote Sinai region has descended further into lawlessness since a popular uprising ousted Egypt's president more than a year ago and threw the security apparatus into disarray.

In March, armed Bedouin surrounded a camp belonging to the MFO mission for eight days before lifting the siege. The incident was also a bid to pressure Egyptian authorities to release tribesmen from jail.

The MFO mission was set up as part of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel which returned the Sinai to Egyptian control. The force includes military staff from 12 countries including the United States, Colombia, France and Uruguay, the MFO website said.

(Reporting by Yousri Mohamed; Writing by Shaimaa Fayed; Editing by Jon Hemming)