Confusion over a missing boy and the discovery of a charred corpse led to fighting outside a hospital in the Nile Delta town of Belqas. Ibrahim Ahmed, 15, went missing on Friday afternoon, then on Saturday a burned body was found in a nearby cemetery. Ibrahim’s father went to the hospital and identified the body as that of his son.
An autopsy later established that the body was not Ibrahim’s. However, before the post mortem Ibrahim’s father rallied family and friends to march toward the Belqas General Hospital, in an attempt to retrieve the body.
Belqas police intercepted the crowd and clashes ensued.
“They started fighting with the police,” said Omar Magdy, a representative of the 6 April Movement in the region. “They thought that the policemen didn’t want to give them their son.”
During the street clashes, one of Ibrahim’s uncles was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet and taken into the hospital.
As the fighting continued, Ibrahim’s father was informed by the hospital staff that the body could not be Ibrahim. Date of death was established at one week before it was found, whereas Ibrahim was most recently seen during this Friday’s prayers. A DNA test conclusively proved the body was not Ibrahim’s.
Major Ahmed Hader at the Ministry of Interior said the body was actually from a “robbery of someone who was driving a tuk-tuk on Saturday [14 October], and he was killed by some criminals.”
The tensions in the street in Belqas only cooled when Ibrahim’s father announced that the corpse was not his son after all.
Now that the fighting has ceased, there is still much left unresolved. Ibrahim has not been found, and now there is a body, which was discovered burned and dumped in a cemetery, whose identity is unknown.