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1 killed, 50 injured in Cairo police clashes with Nile island residents

17 Juillet 2017

Security forces withdrew from al-Warraq Island Sunday afternoon as their presence provoked clashes with the locals.The forces were deployed to the island in the early morning to oversee demolition orders for buildings illegally established on state land.

Anyone using land that does not rightfully belong to them, he angrily said, is a "common thief". It did not say how the man was killed.

Another 19 local people, and more than 30 police officers, were injured and the operation was halted.

Since el-Sissi launched his campaign earlier in the summer, local media has been showing images of police and army troops demolishing buildings illegally built or operating without a license, attempting to project an image of a government keen on protecting what is being billed as "people's property".

On the other hand, the police said in a statement on Sunday that the clashes injured eight policemen, including two generals, besides 29 police conscripts and workers.

It said residents attacked the police with birdshots guns and rocks.

Ten residents were arrested for their part in the violence, it added.

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They were met with resistance and let off tear gas in response.

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".

Sunday's clashes began when police attempted to remove illegal buildings on state land on al-Waraq island on Cairo's northern fringes. It acknowledged the death of one islander and that 19 others were injured.

Al-Warraq is only 1,300 acres big, but is home to around 90,000 people. "How is my home illegal when you have for years provided me with water and electricity", said resident and civil servant Mahmoud Essawi.

However, the island's middle class and poorer residents have experienced the same economic hardships as many other struggling Egyptians.

In a separate development, Egypt's military said its jet fighters 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.

1 killed, 50 injured in Cairo police clashes with Nile island residents