Update: Gunfire, tear gas continue in Boulaq

Violence continues in the Boulaq area this evening after clashes erupted outside the Nile City towers on Thursday afternoon, leaving one person dead.

Witnesses report that tear gas dispensed by Central Security Forces from the towers has now spread into the residential slum area. After a brief lull in fighting during iftar (fast-breaking meal in Ramadan), gun fire has resumed, with reports that live ammunition may have been used and civilians have been shot. CSF threw tear gas bombs, of which the slum residents choked; some falling on the ground and fainting including women and children.

Witnesses say the violence broke out when one of the victims, Amr al-Bunni, was refused pay he had earned at the towers doing temporary security work. Tower security guards shot the Boulaq resident, witnesses from the nearby slum told Egypt Independent. In a previous interview, a resident of the Boulaq shacks had mentioned that Bunni had stopped working for the towers after falling sick, but was denied payment. He attempted previously to address the head of the security department in Nile City, but was reportedly assaulted by guards there.

A young girl also suffocated from inhaling tear gas fired by security forces, residents said.

Boulaq residents smashed the windows of the luxury complex and unidentified people could be seen on top of the towers throwing rocks. Cars were also set ablaze on the Corniche outside the towers. Fire trucks arrived on the scene to put out the fires and have since left.

Central Security Forces have responded with tear gas and bird shot to disperse the crowd, and witnesses report that the security forces are now entering the slum areas.

Witnesses also reported seeing Molotov cocktails being thrown at the building.

The tower has previously come under attack from area residents angry over the death of a five-year-old boy on 27 June, when the tower staff reportedly refused to supply them with water to put out a fire in one of the shacks.

The protests come amid resident's ongoing struggle to keep their homes as both developers and the state seek to buy up land in the neighborhood close to the Nile.

The past two months have seen the use of shotguns and petrol bombs in attacks on residents of the area. On 20 June, the Cairo Governorate issued an order authorizing police to evict them.

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