Police officer Ayman Al-Sayed Al-Desouky was abducted by militants while on his way to work in the border town of Rafah Sunday evening.
Militants stopped the officer while he was on his way to work in a car and kidnapped him, a representative from the interior ministry press office said.
State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram had previously reported that the abducted officer, who works in the ports security division, was on a bus that was stopped at a checkpoint set up by alleged ‘State of Sinai’ (formerly Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis) militants.
According to the report, the gunmen searched the bus. There was another officer on the bus who managed to avoid capture by the militants by concealing his identity. Instead, Al-Desouky was identified as a police officer and taken away.
A ‘State of Sinai’ propaganda video released in December showed masked gunmen allegedly running a checkpoint in North Sinai. It was the first visual evidence of militants manning checkpoints, though unconfirmed reports of such checkpoints have been circulating on social media for several months.
Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing. The interior ministry and the armed forces are searching intensively into the whereabouts of the abducted officer.
The Egypt-Gaza border was set to be open from Tuesday to Thursday in both directions, as announced by the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo Sunday.
However, Deputy Head of the Rafah Crossing Sherif Abdelallah said Monday that the border will remain closed until the authorities determine the whereabouts of the abducted police officer.
The Rafah crossing is the only official border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. It has been mostly closed since the war between Israel and Hamas during the summer of 2014, though it was occasionally reopened for a few days at a time during that period.