Tensions have risen between police and residents of the city of Suez following the killing on Saturday of a young local man by a police officer.
Twenty-year-old Mohamed Gharib was reportedly shot to death by police officer Ahmed Kamal after a quarrel broke out between local residents near the latter’s home.
Hours after the incident, the Suez Security Directorate referred Kamal to the general prosecution for investigation.
Kamal says he was on his way home when he walked into a fight between two groups of residents. While trying to break up the fight, he alleges, Gharib fired a gun at him before attempting to flee.
Kamal says he shot back at Gharib in self defence. Gharib died after sustaining gunshot wounds to the back.
Eyewitnesses, however, dispute the police officer’s account, saying that the fight began when Kamal, along with some friends, attacked and injured a local resident. Gharib, they say, had been trying to take the injured man to hospital when he was shot by Kamal.
Gharib’s murder is expected to raise popular anger in Suez following the shooting of unarmed protesters by policemen - who have yet to face trial - in the early days of Egypt’s January revolution.