Protesters torch military building in Salloum after 2 residents killed

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By Agencies

CAIRO: Salloum residents set fire to a military intelligence building, blocked a major road and set fire to car tires on Wednesday after two people were killed in clashes between residents and army officers a day earlier, witnesses said.

Protesters in the northwestern city of Salloum, located near the Egyptian-Libyan border, had taken to the streets a day earlier to rally against extra fees imposed on trucks carrying goods from Libya into Egypt. They said two men had been shot by the military.

Witnesses said the protesters refused to allow trucks to pass through Salloum and confiscated their goods. The protesters only allowed Libyan families traveling between the two countries to pass through, they said.

Security officials told AFP that the protesters also set fire to a military intelligence building on the Libyan border, a day after the deadly clashes.

The incident highlights the challenges faced by Egypt’s new rulers to keep control of its far-flung corners in the wake of an uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Army officers on Tuesday had fired shots into the air to try to disperse the crowd protesting against a threefold hike in fees imposed on trucks this week, witnesses said.

Crowds threw stones at army officers in response. Two people were killed and four wounded in the clashes. The army withdrew from Salloum afterwards, a local resident told Reuters.

Protesters in Salloum have also demanded an apology from Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the country’s ruling army council, for the death of the two people.


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