Indiscriminate gunfire at a popular market in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid has left a ten-year-old boy dead and a man and women wounded. People at the scene caught one of the shooters and delivered him to police, but several assailants escaped.
The gunmen were reportedly attempting to take several al-Azazmah tribesman hostage but the targeted individuals managed to struggle free. The shooters then began firing randomly, killing the child, Abdallah Salman, while injuring Deifallah Mansour, 51, and Fatemah Hassan, 36.
Sinai is a restive region with little central government control. The vast desert is laden with armaments, some of which were abandoned by Egyptian forces during the Arab-Israeli wars decades ago and recovered by Bedouins, while other weaponry is brought in from Jordan and Israel.
Sinai is a launch pad for goods and human smuggling into the Gaza Strip and Israel. It is also home to widespread inter-tribal conflict.
State security forces cordoned off the market area but the killing threatens to exacerbate already high inter-tribe tensions. Prosecution services have started investigations into motivations for the attack.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.