Three masked militants shot and killed abducted police officer Ahmed Salama Abou Darb in a busy district of the Sinai city of Arish in the early hours of Thursday afternoon.
Abou Darb was kidnapped two days ago when he was ambushed at gunpoint while returning to his police station, with militants also seizing the police vehicle he was driving at the time.
“When I heard gun fire in front of my house at 2 pm, I stepped out and found Abou Darb’s dead body surrounded by the residents of the [Masaeed] district,” an eyewitness who preferred to remain anonymous told Mada Masr.
Upon stepping outside, other residents told the eyewitness that three masked men had arrived in a pickup truck with Abou Darb, whom was thrown into the street and then shot before the militants drove away.
Abou Darb was 35 years old, married and the father of three children, according to the Khawater Sinai Facebook page, which relays Sinai news on Facebook through citizen sources.
The page criticized security forces’ delayed response to Abou Darb’s kidnapping, noting similarities with the cases of police officer Abdel Rahman al-Qallawy and conscript Abdel Rahman al-Qallawy who were killed by militants in Arish last March after being kidnapped.
Following his abduction, Abou Darb’s family had staged a protest in front of the security directorate to demand a thorough and swift rescue mission.
Abou Darb’s death marks the second recent execution of a police officer in Sinai. In June, police officer Mohamed Ali Maher was killed after being kidnapped by militants.
Besides targeting security personnel, Sinai-based militants have begun kidnapping and killing civilians in recent months as a form of retribution for those that have cooperated with security forces.
In early August Egypt’s military declared that it had killed Abu Doaa al-Ansary, the leader of Sinai’s militants, in airstrikes in South Arish, a move that was judged to be destabilizing for terrorist networks in the governorate.