Egypt Independent

North Sinai tribe burns kidnapped militant alive, still has IS captives



Following a car bomb orchestrated by Sinai Province that killed four tribesmen in North Sinai on Tuesday, video footage was released showing a militant burned alive by a number of younger members of the al-Tarbiyeen tribe from Rafah.

Video footage was circulated on tribe-affiliated social media accounts showing the militant writhing in pain on the ground while being consumed by the flames. A member of the tribe said, on condition of anonymity, that this video was released after the car bomb attack.

Clashes between Islamic State-affiliated militants and the tribe have been on the rise, which recently escalated into kidnappings.

Leading tribe member Abduallah Gohama told Egypt Independent on Wednesday that the man who was burned alive is most likely one of the militants who was captured last week, after militants used a rocket-propelled grenade to target the tribe's headquarters in the city. The militants also set fire to two vehicles belonging to tribe members which were carrying a cargo of cigarettes.

The clashes led to the death of a man who was a driver for tribe members. A Rafah resident said previously, on condition of anonymity, that the tribe kidnapped some militants. "Members of the tribe set up checkpoints in different parts of the city to detain militants; this pushed the militants to go back to their hiding places," the resident said

The tribe's smuggling operations have been targeted as Sinai Province has taken it upon itself to become North Sinai's "Islamic Police Authority". Among other restrictions, the militant group prohibits cigarettes.

Al-Tarbiyeen is still holding a number of militants hostage, as is Sinai Province. Gohama said the tribe did not deliver the militants to state security because tribe members do not want security forces to attempt a hostage exchange.

The Interior Ministry's media office was not available for comment on the incident.

Since 2014, North Sinai has seen an increase in conflict between state security, represented in the army and police forces, and Sinai Province—previously known as Ansar Beit el-Maqdis which changed its name after declaring its affiliation to Islamic State. The group has launched several violent attacks against army and police checkpoints in North Sinai cities.

North Sinai-based state security have carried out large-scale security sweeps and military operations in response.