Egypt Cairo: Deadly battle between police and island 'squatters'

17 Juillet, 2017, 15:54 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • People carry the body of Sayed Tafshan who died during clashes between security forces and residents of al Waraq island on the northern fringes of Cairo Egypt

The incident on Warraq island in Cairo came amid a government campaign to remove encroachments from state property and land, an interior ministry statement said.

On launching his campaign earlier this summer, el Sissi said in televised comments said he would show no leniency towards a "common thief" using land not belonging to them.

To el-Waraq's middle class and poor residents, however, the sight of bulldozers coming to demolish their homes may have been more than they could bear at a time when they, like most Egyptians, are struggling to cope with soaring prices for food and services, a result of ambitious reforms introduced by el-Sissi's government to revive the country's battered economy.

The Health Ministry said a resident was killed and said 19 others were wounded in the clashes on al-Waraq island on the northern fringes of the Egyptian capital.

The Interior Ministry, which controls the police, said its forces only used tear gas.

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Police arrested 10 people, who are now being questioned for attacking the security forces, MENA quoted a second statement by the interior ministry as saying. The injured policemen included two generals.

Hundreds of islanders held a funeral for the slain victim, holding aloft his body as they marched through fields, chanting "we will sacrifice the martyr with our soul and blood". It said up to 700 building and land violations were recorded on the island.

It said protesters fired birdshot and threw stones at officers, prompting police to use tear gas to disperse them.

People of the island told Al-Masry Al-Youm that they woke up this morning and found police and army forces besieging Warraq in order to oversee demolition orders of buildings on the island. "How is my home illegal when you have for years provided me with water and electricity", said resident and civil servant Mahmoud Essawi.

Egypt's military says its jet-fighters have destroyed 15 all-terrain vehicles carrying weapons and explosives along with "criminal elements" after they were detected getting ready to cross the Libyan border into Egypt. It also did not mention Libya by name.

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