Armed Assault at AUC Gates

Armed men hijack a car and abduct its driver in Front of Gate 5


PHOTO COURTESY OF MAHMOUD SAYED

BY NADA ISMAIL

Armed men hijacked a car and abducted its driver on Wednesday March 7, in front of Gate 5 of the American University in Cairo’s (AUC) new campus.

Mahmoud Sayed, 26, was beaten and kidnapped while inside his employer’s car (AUC students) . The armed men threatened him and held him captive before successfully stealing the car. Sayed explains the incident to The Independent. “I dropped off Zeinab and Khadija in front of gate 5 and parked approximately 40 meters away from the gate.”

“I waited in the car while having breakfast, when suddenly a man opened the back door and strangled me with a wire,” he continued. Sayed grabbed the keys from the ignition and started poking his attacker in the eyes. Sayed became powerless when two other men joined his strangler and started beating him.

“One man got in the back seat and the other got in the passenger seat; he had a gun. There was a fourth man waiting beside the driver’s door to get in and drive the car away,” Sayed added. The man struck Sayed on the head with the gun causing a severe gash, while the others beat him in order to pry the key from his hand. Sayed, however, grew helpless when he got shot and no one came to his rescue.

“I wouldn’t let go, so the man in the passenger seat shot me in the leg,”  he explained.

Sayed lay in the middle of the car with several injuries and a bleeding leg, leaving room for the fourth man to enter the car and drive away.

“They bound my hands with four plastic handcuffs and kept me hidden while beating me the entire time,” said Sayed. The men, then, threw Sayed out of the car and drove away.

“I couldn’t see well due to the blood all over my eyes nor could I walk because of the bullet in my leg, but I knew that I was in the middle of the desert,” said Sayed.

Sayed managed to crawl through the desert until he reached a road near El-Sharbatly Mosque in the Fifth District, where a few workers spotted him and called the police. Upon their arrival, the police took Sayed to the hospital.

“The police are attentive and are trying to arrest them; it’s serious because there is a gunshot involved. But until now, there are no reports of the criminals,” said Sayed, about the police’s attitude towards the incident.

Executive Director for Public Safety, Mr. Mahmoud Zouk commented that the administration received a report of the incident after reading about it in the Masry Al-Youm Newspaper. “[After reading about the incident], we started investigating the matter in order to confirm the facts,” said Zouk.

“The security guards are responsible for the internal security of AUC, and the police officers stationed at the gates are responsible for the external security,” explained Zouk, when asked about the role of the security personnel. “The guards call the police for help, and they interfere with all situations outside AUC,” added Zouk.

When asked the reason behind the administration not informing the AUC community about this incident, Zouk’s response was that “the case is still under investigation and we need more information to confirm facts and relay accurate messages to the community.”