The release of seven security men by their kidnappers in Sinai has prompted Egypt’s president to call on all militants to hand in their weapons.
Mohamed Mursi also vowed to pursue a crackdown on lawlessness in Sinai.
The men, were released in the village of Salah Ha-Deen, after mediation efforts by Bedouin leaders. It has also been reported the kidnappers began to fear a confrontation with the Egyptian military.
Nassar Abed Al Gafour who is a village elder told Euronews that the residents wanted better security:
“We are on the front line with both Israel and Hamas, and we live here. There are many factions who have an interest in this area. They want to defend their own interests and they will perform summary justice. Which is unworthy.”
Under the terms of a 1979 agreement with Israel the Egyptian military presence is restricted in the peninsula. But Cairo has now ordered more forces into the area with Israeli agreement.