stations accused of looting, bombing pipelines and kidnapping foreign nationals in the empty post-Mubarak security
Ahmed Abdo still asleep in his hut in front of the Hotel Aqua-Sol beach on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea, where 20 masked men armed with guns stormed
Abdo, 30, and his two companions were bound, their mobile phones taken. The members of the Bedouin tribe from intruders, Tarabeen, demanded money - 4 million Egyptian pounds (£ 420,000) - the owner as compensation for the land on which they built the complex. He belonged, they said, Tarabeen.
When the owner objected: "They took everything - air conditioners, generators, televisions, gas cylinders, including doors," said Abdo. He showed the Guardian around the station and abandoned looted: kicking in doors or not, taking mattresses bed frames, broken windows, cushions and carpets seized. The office had been stripped of equipment and furniture, the room occupancy letters and pamphlets have were scattered on the ground. Ten refrigerators and freezers has disappeared. The air conditioning units were ripped from the walls. They even tried to take the table, but fell in mid-flight, leaving uneven bowlegged. The value of goods taken is estimated at over £ 100,000.
"Of course I was scared," said Abdo. "We told them that only workers here, we must feed our children." Fortunately, there was no guests at the Aqua Sol at the time of the raid three weeks ago, a combined result of the season and the impact of the crisis in tourism in Egypt.
police said Abdo, had not intervened. A highway patrol last resort because it was looted, but "mind its own business." A local police chief has already informed the owner of Aqua Sol "to solve the problem with the Bedouins, it is not a good time for us to move towards a confrontation with them," said Abdo.
The raid on the Aqua-Sol, allegedly by a small group of men who live outside the immediate area Tarabeen, is one of a series of incidents in the Sinai in recent months . In the south of the peninsula, including the abduction of tourists and armed robberies in the north, which is worse - the repeated bombardment of a gas line, smuggling, arms and drugs, and increased the militant Islam
what unites them is a reaffirmation of the Bedouins of the region after decades of marginalization, neglect and discrimination and a vacuum of more security after the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak .
Israel, whose border with Sinai for about 240 kilometers (150 miles), has seen the number of attacks during the past year with the alarm. "It is taking steps to prevent the total collapse of security in and around the peninsula [and] avoid the appearance of some small Bedouin forces of a State out of control," wrote analyst Ehud Yaari, a report, Sinai: a new front to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month. He described the peninsula as a "new access point ... with an expansion of the terrorist infrastructure" and a wild frontier.
Over the past 13 months, a pipeline that transports gas through northern Sinai to Israel and Jordan was attacked by militants on 12 occasions, most recently last week, interrupting the flow and causing millions of dollars in damage.
gangs are trafficking large numbers of people fleeing persecution, war or poverty of the rest of Africa, charging thousands of dollars for passage across the Sinai to Israel. Camps were established, from which flow terrible stories of rape, torture, extortion, misery and despair.
smuggled across the border has become an industry: weapons and goods to Gaza marijuana and refugees in Israel. According to Yaari, the annual value of this shadow economy is estimated this year more than $ 300 (£ 190 million) last.Israeli intelligence officials say
Hamas and other Islamic groups working with activists among the Bedouins to launch operations against Israel. They are "becoming a new experience in Sinai from which launched a terrorist activity," said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, head of Israeli military intelligence earlier this month.Many observers say the anarchy and lawlessness has skyrocketed, particularly in the northern Sinai, Mubarak's government fell a year ago. But the region has long been detached from the rest of Egypt and largely beyond the iron hand of security forces.
suffered from chronic underinvestment in education, health and transport. Its inhabitants are among the poorest in Egypt. Added to the powerful combination of poverty, alienation and tribal loyalties Palestinians is a large population in the north of the peninsula, with family connections, political and economic Gaza.
investments in the south, massive since the 1990s in the luxury resorts in the Bedouin village of fishermen in Sharm el-Sheikh, and a program to create a "Red Sea Riviera" along the coast , has ceded to the Bedouin.
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