CAIRO: Abdel-Mohsen Doudar, a member of a local council in El-Tebbein, the district of Helwan in which Nezlet El-Elyan, home to recent clashes, is located, said that trouble had been brewing for some time before the fighting began on Tuesday night.
He revealed further details about fighting between two families in the Helwan village, which resulted in at least two deaths.
“Old rivalries between the Elyan and Radwan families were stirred up 10 days ago when youths from each family had a fight, Doudar explained.
“The situation escalated on Tuesday, during wedding celebrations.
When Daily News Egypt went to the village on Wednesday afternoon its entrance had been closed off by youths brandishing thick sticks.
Cars were being prevented from entering Nezlet El-Elyan. A man who announced himself as being from the Elyan family warned against entering the village because cars were being attacked and set on fire.
While initial reports put the death toll at four, Doudar says that two people were shot dead, one of whom was a 12-year-old boy.
Doudar said that tens of villagers and members of the police were injured during the fighting and exchange of fire. He said that the intense fighting prevented police from gaining control of the situation immediately.
Doudar denied allegations that the Elyan family was supported by the police.
“The Elyan family has seven branches and it’s only the Hindy branch who make trouble. The Elyans are a very respectable family: last week one of its members, Colonel Mohamed Sayed Elyan, who is head of criminal investigations in Assuit, was honored on ‘El-Ashera’ Masa’an [a nightly talk show].
Doudar added that hotspots of trouble between warring families are well-known and said that the Security Committee within the local council on which he sits should meet more often in order to pre-empt outbursts of violence of the sort which occurred in El-Tebbein.