Sinai Bedouins clash with police

Protesters attack ruling party office and burn pictures of Egyptian president.

    At least four protesters were taken away
    by security men [AFP]

    "I saw about 1,200 protesters throwing stones at the government building and after that damaging the National Democratic Party building," Khaled Abu Salim told Reuters from El-Arish.
     
    Police arrested four protesters after the clashes, state news agency MENA reported. It did not say if they had been charged with any crimes.
     
    Tribal conflict
     
    Witnesses said a fight on Saturday between a member of El-Fawakhria and a man from the El-Tarrabeen tribe of central Sinai had triggered the incident.
     
    Hundreds of El-Tarrabeen members, riding in trucks and carrying automatic rifles, later attacked the town and opened fire in a neighbourhood dominated by El-Fawakhria, wounding five of its members.
     
    Many Bedouins in northern and central Sinai, who have a reputation for ignoring state rule, own guns and ammunition illegally. They say owning weapons is a tribal tradition that has become more important because of the security forces' heavy-handed behaviour.

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