ISIS terrorists clash with Bedouin tribes in Egypt’s Sinai
A tribal elder in Sinai told The New Arab armed clashes erupted south of Rafah on Sunday between Islamic State-affiliated [Daesh] jihadis and tribal militants after the extremists kidnapped a member of al-Tarabin tribe, one of the largest in Sinai.
Egyptian officials gave AP a different account, saying militants from the Islamic State group launched RPG attacks in response to the kidnapping of three of its members by local tribes.
According to tribal sources, the unrest started when militants shot at a truck smuggling cigarettes into the area, where the IS-affiliated Wilayat Sinai imposes a strict version of Islamic law that prohibits the sale of tobacco.
The area around the city of Rafah is at the heart of an ongoing battle between militants and security forces, which did not intervene in the clashes.
The official sources spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to brief the media. The tribal sources requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.
Several large tribes inhabit Sinai, including al-Aramilat, al-Sawarka and others in addition to al-Tarabin. Many of their members are armed and are involved in illicit activities.