Court drops charges against 86 Egyptians arrested in Sinai riots

October 10, 2007 18:14

An Egyptian court on Wednesday dropped rioting and damaging public property charges against 86 Egyptians in northern Sinai but ordered four others to remain in custody for 15 days pending further investigation, judicial officials said. A dispute between two Bedouin tribes in the restive Egyptian city of El-Arish near the Israeli border erupted into riots that resulted in the destruction of the local ruling party headquarters. "The case was fragile, with no legal grounds and no witnesses," Ihab el-Bulouk, one of the defendants' lawyers said. The four men kept in custody were all from the Tarabeen tribe which began the affair by opening fire on townspeople from the el-Fawakhriya tribe on Saturday, said a judicial official on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

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