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Death toll of tribal clashes in Egypt rises to 23

The death toll of overnight tribal clashes in upper Egypt's Aswan province rose to 23, official MENA news agency reported Saturday.

The overnight gunfight erupted on Friday evening and renewed early Saturday morning between two big tribes in eastern Aswan, leaving 23 people dead and more than 30 others injured. Also several houses were burnt down.

Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim have headed to Aswan to contain the situation.

The two tribes, Bani Helal and Ahl al-Nuba, used machine guns and Molotov cocktails during the fighting, while security forces fired tear gas to disperse them.

Police forces have been deployed in the area to prevent new skirmishes between the two sides.

Witnesses told Xinhua that it was impossible for the ambulances to reach the scene as the two families were firing excessively. The police evacuated the residents living nearby the scene and closed the biggest commercial market in the area.

Traditionally, most of the big tribes in southern Egypt own weapons and solve disputes without involving the state.

[Source: Xinhua, Cairo, 05Apr14]

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Crisis in Egypt
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