Citizens in Daqahlia Governorate prevented judges overseeing Shura Council elections from reaching polling stations Monday to protest the abduction of a child.
Angry citizens from Gasfa blocked the Cairo-Mansoura Road, burning car tires and denying judges entry to their village and neighboring ones, after a gang kidnapped a 12-year-old boy named Islam Mostafa and demanded a LE2 million ransom from his family.
Some villagers said the gang members, who are well-known to both security authorities and citizens, kidnapped the boy Saturday morning on his way to a school exam. They said the police investigations chief advised the boy’s family to pay the ransom because the gang was out of the police’s reach.
“We negotiated with one of the kidnappers, a fellow villager, and paid them LE200,000 late Sunday, but they did not return the kid. So we decided to block the road and disrupt elections until the boy is back and his kidnappers are arrested,” one eyewitness said.
The villagers said Mostafa’s kidnapping is not the first. Another villager was abducted last Wednesday but was returned home after his family paid LE100,000 in ransom, they said.
Security sources said police and army officials have been negotiating with the protesters to reopen the road and allow the polls to resume, but the citizens have vowed to continue protesting until the boy is returned home.
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