CAIRO - An Egyptian police officer was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula town of El Arish on Saturday, security sources said.
Armed groups have exploited a security vacuum in the Sinai, which borders Israel, since a 2011 uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak. The mainly Islamist and Bedouin groups have kidnapped tourists and police to press the government for the release of jailed colleagues.
The motive for Saturday's shooting was not immediately clear. The gunmen blocked a road in the town and opened fire on the officer's private car, and also wounded his driver, the sources said.
Over the past few days violence has broken out across Egypt between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi ahead of opposition rallies planned for Sunday to demand the Islamist president's resignation.