A group of armed Bedouin tribesmen on Tuesday taken at least 10 Egyptian police officers, including the region's security chief, hostage. According to Al Jazeera, Brigadier Muhammad al-Sharawi, Egyptian central security chief, was captured on Tuesday in a small police station in Madfouna, a small border town in the north of the Sinai peninsula.
Hundreds of Bedouin have been demonstrating in Madfouna since police shot dead a tribesman during clashes on Monday.
A police official denied that any hostages had been taken, but confirmed protesters had surrounded the station and that negotiations were ongoing. The protests erupted after Egyptian policemen on Monday opened fire on a vehicle driven by "two Bedouin suspects" who they say ignored orders to stop. One was killed and the other wounded.
The dead man was identified as a drug dealer by the state news agency MENA, although the Bedouins dismissed that allegation.
Hundreds of Bedouin demonstrated against the killing, with some firing guns into the air and burning tyres.