Police arrest 16 more in wake of Nile City violence

Police arrested 16 more suspects in the Ramlet Bulaq neighborhood Wednesday, bringing the total number of people detained following the Nile City towers violence last week to 33.

The incident led to the death of one man and the injury of seven people including two soldiers, a police officer and a private television channel reporter. About 20 cars and motorcycles were also damaged, many of them set on fire along the Corniche.

The violence broke out on Thursday when area resident Amr al-Bunni was killed by police officers stationed at Nile City towers, after being refused pay from temporary security work he did at the property, witnesses from the nearby Ramlet Bulaq slum told Egypt Independent. In a previous interview, a local resident had mentioned that Bunni had stopped working for the towers after falling sick, but was denied payment. He previously attempted to address the head of the security department at Nile City, but was reportedly assaulted by guards there.

Security forces said they found the suspects arrested Wednesday in possession of  15 weapons, including three firearms, as well as gasoline canisters and Molotov cocktails.

On Friday, prosecutors also ordered the detention of 17 suspects on charges of thuggery, attempted robbery, possession of firearms and fireworks, destruction of public and private property, resisting authorities and assaulting police.

The 17 told the prosecution that they were randomly arrested while watching the events near the towers.

A tourism and antiquities police officer alleged that he was doing his job Thursday in securing the tower when a quarrel broke out between the suspects and security forces. The defendants tried to assault the police, he said, broke into the bank to rob it, and threw Molotov cocktails and stones. He said that he fired his gun in the air to scare away attackers and defend the police.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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