Egypt’s Latest Tribal Clashes Kill 2, Bringing Toll to 25

Two people were killed in clashes between an Arab tribe and Nubian villagers in Egypt today, bringing the toll from weekend violence in the southern province of Aswan to 25.

At least five were wounded in a fourth day of fighting, Mostafa Higazy, head of Aswan’s University Hospital, which received the bodies, said by phone. The violence initially started as a graffiti war between students at a local school, the Interior Ministry said. The two factions attended a reconciliation meeting on April 3 and an argument broke out, leading to a fatal firefight.

“The situation is very serious here,” Nubian lawyer and Aswan resident Mohamed Azmy said by phone. “I saw at least four houses set ablaze in my neighborhood.”

Army spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali yesterday said there were “indication” that the Muslim Brotherhood, labeled as a terrorist group by the government, helped trigger the violence. Authorities have blamed the Brotherhood for much of of the violence that has plagued the country since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. The Brotherhood, as well as human rights groups, blame security agencies for the death of hundreds of Egyptians in the worst crackdown on Islamists in decades.

Azmy said armed members of the Arab Bani Hilal tribe attacked the Nubian neighborhoods shortly after police and army forces withdrew earlier today. Authorities imposed a curfew in the area of the clashes, Al Arabiya television reported, without saying how it obtained the information.

Egypt’s benchmark EGX 30 Index for equities dropped for a second day, falling 2.3 percent at the close in Cairo. The index declined 2.9 percent on April 3 after deadly bombings outside Cairo University triggered concern violence may escalate before the presidential election next month.

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