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Egypt tribal fighting over woman kills 23

The violence that first erupted on Friday in the southern province of Aswan is the worst in recent memory, police said

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A tribal clash in Egypt’s southern province of Aswan has claimed the lives of at least 23 people, ministry officials said Saturday.

The skirmish erupted last week when a group of students engaged in a fight after a man sexually accosted a woman from another family.

Renewed fighting on Saturday between Bani Hilal tribesmen and the Nubian Dabudiya family killed 20 people, the interior ministry said, a day after a failed reconciliation meeting between the two sides ended in a gun battle that killed three.

The two sides used gunfire and petrol bombs and several houses were burned to the ground before police were able to stop the fighting on Saturday morning, the ministry said in a statement.

Following up

The Egyptian premier and interior minister flew to Aswan to closely follow up on the matter, Egypt’s Youm7 news portal reported.

Mohamed Sorour, a health ministry official in Aswan, told Reuters the number of dead had risen to 23 by Saturday afternoon. He said 31 people were hospitalized.

Aswan’s governor ordered 17 local schools to cancel classes on Sunday, the first day of the work week in Egypt, state news agency MENA reported.

Tribal vendettas are common in the poor, rural south, but the current violence is the worst in recent memory, police said.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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