Angry Egyptian police closed the Rafah border crossing between the northern Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip Friday to protest the abduction of seven soldiers and police in Sinai, dpa reported.
Police staged a sit-in, blocking the crossing, a day after masked gunmen kidnapped four army soldiers and three policemen in al-Arish in northern Sinai and took them to an unknown location.
A security official said the government is negotiating with the abductors, who demanded the release of their relatives imprisoned in Egypt or moving them to a detention facility in the Sinai Peninsula.
The kidnappers complained that their relatives were badly treated and tortured in prisons in Cairo.
The official said negotiations were going well and the security officers were expected to be released Friday night.
The remote desert peninsula has suffered security problems since president Hosny Mubarak was toppled in February 2011.
In August, the army launched an operation against Islamists suspected of killing 16 soldiers near the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.