Update: Qursaya residents block traffic artery as Armed Forces claim ownership

Residents of Qursaya Island blocked Bahr al-Azam Street in Giza for a second time Sunday evening, completely paralyzing traffic in the area.

Security forces and military personnel attempted to evict the residents from the island early Sunday morning, but they refused to leave, triggering clashes that killed two and injured 10. Afterward, nearly 400 residents blocked the street and set tires on fire, stopping through traffic for three hours in the afternoon.

But residents returned in the evening, saying they were forced to cut off the road after they had given the authorities an hour to release those who were arrested in the Sunday morning clashes.

Military spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali said Sunday that the Armed Forces is registered as the owner of the disputed Qursaya land at the notary office.

He also warned that the Armed Forces will confront any legal violation and will put an end to “thuggery.”

But the protesters disputed this characterization. Nageh Hassan Mohamed al-Sayed, 61, said "I'm an old man, and I've seen Sadat and Mubarak's rule. But never was it as bad as these four months. Is the military not supposed to protect us? Instead they are firing at us at 3 am."

"We demand the resignation of [Abdel Fattah al-]Sisi," the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said Abdallah Mashraf, a 20-year-old student.

Salam Abdel Moneim, a 42-year-old farmer, said, "The presence of the military on this island is a heavy burden on us."

In a Facebook post, Ali, the military spokesperson, said the Armed Forces uses the land as part of its mission to secure Cairo.

“The land was attacked by the residents following the 25 January revolution, when the Armed Forces evacuated it and employed guards to prevent further attacks,” he explained.

He also claimed that 60 residents attacked the property's guards at 6 am Friday, saying that they continued the attack after negotiations and attempts to peacefully convince them to leave the land.

He added that the military’s central command evacuated the land on Sunday and regained control after negotiations failed.

Ali also claimed that the Armed Forces were fired upon from a nearby building, leading to four injuries. The injured soldiers are being treated in Maadi Hospital, and he also said that 25 people were arrested and referred for prosecution.

“At 11 am, residents found the body of 17-year old fisherman named Mohamed Abdu Abdel Mawgoud, who lived in Sakkiet Mekki in Giza. Military Prosecution was informed to take legal measures,” he added.

Mohamed Ali Abu Qomsan, a 50-year-old fisherman and farmer who was protesting, was angry over Mawgoud's death.

"We won't open up the road before they bring us the name of the officer who killed Mohamed Abdu Abdel Mawgoud. This is democracy for you; our kids in the meantime are being questioned by the military prosecutor. This will become just like Syria; we are dogs to them."

Additional reporting by Abulkasim al-Jaberi

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