Egypt to restore up to 54 houses in Boulaq damaged in consulate blast

Ahram Online , Sunday 19 Jul 2015

An explosion last week near the Italian Consulate in Downtown Cairo damaged many nearby homes and led to protests by locals

Egyptian police officers stand on the 6th October bridge opposite the Italian consulate following a blast in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, July 11, 2015 (AP)
The number of houses set to undergo repair works in Downtown Cairo following a car bomb attack on the Italian Consulate could amount to 54, a local official has said. 
The head of Boulaq Abu El-Ela district, Ibrahim Abd El-Hady, told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that 41 buildings have been registered so far to be restored, but the number could reach 54. 
Cairo's Governor Galal Saeed visited the site Sunday and witnessed the start of restoration works, Al-Ahram reported. 
The consulate was hit on 11 July. One person was killed and 10 others injured in the attack that was claimed by the Islamic State group.
In addition, nearby homes also sustained damage and residents staged a protest in the wake of the explosion demanding authorities restore their homes.
Mahmoud Shaaban, a teacher and representative of tenants in the so-called "Maspero Triangle" area in Boulaq, told Ahram Online that locals feels "reassured" after restoration works started.
Previously, officials offered to compensate residents with alternative homes elsehwere, a suggestion they rejected.
According to a research conducted by Madd, an independent institution that works on issues related to urban development, the triangle stands on 74 feddans (77 acres) of land and is home to at least 18,000 residents.
Residents have been facing tensions over land ownership in recent years. 
Meanwhile, on Saturday Egyptian state-owned construction company Arab Contractors started preparations for restoring the bomb-struck consulate site.
On Friday, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Governor Saeed had visited the neighbourhood and spoke to residents. 
Saeed said the government would not neglect citizens whose homes were damaged, promising compensation.
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