Egyptian police shoot boy dead in Nile Delta riots

Police shot dead a 15-year-old boy in a Nile Delta town overnight -- the first fatality in two days of clashes between police and workers backed by local people, security sources said on Tuesday.

Egyptian police shoot boy dead in Nile Delta riots
The boy, Ahmed Ali Mabrouk Hamada, was standing on the balcony of his family's flat in Mahalla el-Kubra when bullets hit him in the head and neck, they said.

"He was asleep on the third floor when he heard loud bangs and came out to check and suddenly he was hit by a bullet and fell to his death on the balcony," said Alaa al-Shebeeni, the boy's uncle.

"The boy died as a result of two bullets in the head. One entered below his ear and the other went from below his chin and penetrated his head," said a doctor who asked not to be named.

Police left the scene after local people came out of their houses and gathered in the street, witnesses said.

More than 65 people have been injured in the clashes which began on Sunday afternoon when workers ended the day shift at the giant textile mill in the industrial town.

The workers had tried to go on strike and protest against high prices but plainclothes security men took control of the factory and forced them to work, workers said.

Local people including many teenagers have joined in the anti-government protests, alongside the textile workers seeking pay rises to compensate for sharp increases in food prices.

The fighting continued into Monday night and Tuesday morning as protesters hurled petrol bombs at security forces. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Police are holding for questioning several hundred people from Mahalla, which lies 100 km (60 miles) north of the capital Cairo, the security sources said.

The unrest in Mahalla has been the most serious during more than one year of conflict over pay between industrial workers and management. In most cases management has quickly made concessions to the demands of the workers.

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif arrived in the town on Tuesday to see the damage and find out more about the problems.

Life was returning to normal in the town and the streets were relatively crowded and busy.
Last Mod: 09 Nisan 2008, 08:58
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