Dozens of residents from El-Danafqa village, located in Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate, staged a protest on Friday along the road linking Aswan to Cairo following the disappearance of a child from the village, reported state-run newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm.
According to testimonies from the village’s residents reported to Akhbar Al-Youm, the four-year-old child was kidnapped from the village while buying candy with a young family member. They noted that this is not the first time a child has been kidnapped from the village.
There have been several reports of children being kidnapped from the village, with the most recent report taking place in September.
Residents claimed that two veiled women had kidnapped the child. They then decided to stage a protest to raise attention to the kidnapping case.
Consequently, security forces arrested 20 residents over accusations that they were inciting violence and riots. Security forces also blocked the entrance and exit to the village in anticipation of any riots.
Residents of El-Danafqa claimed that they did not intend on halting traffic or disrupting public order, but their protest was met with open fire from police forces who aimed to disperse the group.
The police force’s attempt to disperse the protest resulted in the injury of two relatives of the alleged kidnapped child, in addition to another of other injuries. The injured were transferred to Sohag Public Hospital, according to Akhbar Al-Youm.
Prosecution authorities are still investigating the case of the alleged kidnapping and the motives behind the protest.
The Interior Ministry did not publish a statement regarding the incident. Daily News Egypt made several attempts to obtain a comment from the ministry’s media office, but received no answer.