Calm in Egypt's Aswan following deadly clan fighting

By Hagar al-Dosoki, Sunday, April 06, 2014

Security has been beefed up around the clashes area in an attempt to prevent re-eruption of violence after the two clans failed to reconcile

Security has been beefed up around the clashes area in an attempt to prevent re-eruption of violence after the two clans failed to reconcile

ASWAN, Egypt – A state of tense calm reigned over the southern Egyptian city of Aswan Sunday, following two days of clan fighting that left at least 23 dead and 31 injured.

Security has been beefed up around the clashes area in an attempt to prevent re-eruption of violence after the two clans failed to reconcile.

"The situation has calmed down after security forces deployed their vehicles in the perimeter of each of the two tribes' strongholds," activist Magdi al-Daboudi, member of the Nubian Daboudia tribe, one of the fighting clans, told Anadolu Agency.

The violence in Aswan had started between Daboudia and Hilaliya tribes on the background of a scuffle over a girl between school students from two clans, according to eyewitnesses.

Prosecutors continued on Sunday to listen to testimonies of those who have been hospitalized after sustaining injuries in the fighting, while families of the slain are still waiting for the burial permit for their relatives.

Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab ordered the formation of a fact-finding commission to investigate the incidents, following a meeting between representatives from the two tribes in Aswan on Saturday.

The meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and Aswan governor Mustafa Yousri.

A press conference scheduled after the meeting has been canceled. However, sources who attended the meeting told AA that Mehlab vowed to hold accountable those who have triggered the clashes.

For his part, Ibrahim promised to take actions against police personnel whom the tribes accused of failing to contain the violence due to "negligence."

Twenty-four schools in Aswan have been ordered closed indefinitely as of Sunday, based on a decision by Yousri.

Sedky Sobhy, the newly-appointed Defense Minister, had agreed to treat the injured in military hospitals.

Deadly family feuds are common in Upper Egypt, where weapons spread more freely than the northern provinces. Vengeances among southern families in many cases could be traced to decades back. Government mediation is often involved for reconciliation.

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