Civilian shot dead at North Sinai checkpoint

30-year-old Abdul-Latif al-Nasayira was shot dead at the Raysa military checkpoint in Arish, North Sinai on Tuesday, less than a day after he was released from police custody.

Nasayira, a resident of Sheikh Zuwayed, was held for 12 days while police did a background check after he was apprehended at a checkpoint on the Qantara highway, according to his friend who wished to remain anonymous.

Nasayira was released from the Rommana Police Station in Bir al-Abd, west of Arish. The shooting occurred when he and a friend, Azmy Singar, exited their car at the Raysa checkpoint vehicle queue to get food. Nassayra was shot dead and Singar took a bullet to the shoulder and is currently hospitalized in the Ismailia University Hospital.

Although the shooter has not been identified, many residents of Sheikh Zuwayed complain of being targeted at security checkpoints, as they live in a city which has seen increasing militant attacks on security forces. They referenced several similar attacks at North Sinai checkpoints.

Families in Arish have also accused security forces of killing their relatives on the pretext of fighting terrorism. The Popular Committee, established after the Interior Ministry announced the killing of 10 Arish residents in anti-terrorist operations in late January, declared on Monday that it would take the first step in a civil disobedience campaign in response to the killings.

In a statement, the committee called upon Arish residents to stop paying their electricity bills starting February 11 to protest the state’s failure to investigate the killing of their sons or attempt to prove their being innocence. The committee also called for a meeting for all North Sinai residents on February 25 to further discuss the issue.

The ministry accused the 10 men of carrying out terrorist attacks in Sinai, publishing the names of six of the men. Their families denied their involvement in the attacks, claiming that they had been randomly arrested and forcibly disappeared months earlier.

An unprecedented meeting was held by Arish families in January who decided to boycott the Interior Ministry and threatened civil disobedience if the ministry does not respond to their demands, which also included the release of Sinai residents detained without trial.

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