ARISH, Egypt, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The Egyptian interior minister said he was focusing on the Cairo security situation, sparking protests in North Sinai province over an outbreak of kidnappings.
Egyptian protesters blocked provincial buildings in North Sinai and set tires in protest in the central square in the provincial capital Arish, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
Citizens there were upset with security in the region. Traffic police, the news agency said, were forced to respond to demonstrations because there were so few security forces on the streets.
At least 100 people blocked main roads in North Sinai following a string of kidnappings in the region. Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim had vowed to take action to restore security in Cairo. The news agency said it was unclear, however, when that effort would expand beyond the capital city.
The Israeli military in August launched a raid on Egyptian targets after militants crossed the border in the Sinai Peninsula, killing eight Israelis. Six Egyptian security personnel were killed in the raid, stoking anti-Israeli sentiments.
The August attack was allegedly carried out in coordination with a group calling itself al-Qaida in the Egyptian Sinai, though it was unclear if the group has working ties with al-Qaida central or Hamas.