Aswan felucca captain dies after being shot by police officer

A felucca captain died on Saturday near the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan after being shot by a police officer on Monday, according to sources at the Aswan Teaching Hospital.

The shooting occurred when a number of felucca operators were fighting over passengers near a dock. Officer Mohamed al-Garhy intervened to separate the mobs before he himself got involved in a quarrel with one of the captains, Mohamed Ramadan Helaly. The quarrel devolved into a fistfight that ended with the officer shooting Helaly, 30, in the stomach.

Authorities beefed up security around the Aswan hospital for fear of retaliation.

Last week a number of Nubian citizens assaulted the Aswan Security Directorate, voicing anger over Helaly's injury. Army and police forces interfered to protect the building after protesters shattered its glass facade with stones and bottles.

The public prosecutor has launched an investigation into the incident to determine why the officer used gunfire and whether he shot Helaly by mistake, said sources at the Interior Ministry. The officer has been detained, the sources added.

Following the 18-day uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, several human rights activists have called for an overhaul of the educational system for police cadets. Anger over police brutality was one of the driving factors behind the revolution.

Police officers, many of whom were implicated in the murders of pro-democracy protesters during the revolution, were often used by Mubarak to stifle dissent.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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