Road in Salloum reopened after clashes killed two on Tuesday

A road that had been blocked in Salloum was reopened on Wednesday after tribal elders convinced residents to stop their demonstration protesting the death of two people at the hands of military forces.

Clashes had erupted Tuesday evening in the port town, which is on the border between Libya and Egypt, when protesters attempted to block the international road between the two countries.

Local residents were protesting higher tolls for trucks traveling the road, which jumped from LE450 to LE600. The army then intervened to open the road, which led to the clashes that killed Anwar Abdel Maksoud, 14, and Abdel Moula Mahmoud Beshry, 23. Five residents were wounded.

A delegation of tribal elders arrived in Salloum on Wednesday to calm the situation down. They were asked to relay the message that the residents want the victims to be declared martyrs, and their families to be financially compensated.

On Wednesday, demonstrators blocked the road leading to the port from the western side, set fire to tires and denied entry to trucks and individuals coming in from the Libyan side, only allowing a number Libyan families to go out. The delegation managed to negotiate an end to the protest.

Meanwhile, businesses in the Salloum landport on the Egyptian side are closed.

The residents of Salloum have requested an apology from Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, for the bloody clashes between the army and the people. They also demanded that he refer the perpetrators to prosecution.

The people of the city refused to bury the bodies or accept solace unless Tantawi comes in person to apologize to the families of the victims. They also called for an official investigation into the incident.

Matrouh prosecutor Karim Abdel Aziz sent the bodies to the Alexandria Forensics Department to determine the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Matrouh Governor Taha Mohamed al-Sayed denied that he has resigned over the incident.

Protesters had burned down a military intelligence building Tuesday in Salloum, the state-run daily Al-Ahram reported.

Egyptian security sources said on Wednesday that military reinforcements will arrive in Salloum from Alexandria to help with the situation.

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