One killed in Egypt clashes over fertiliser plant

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One person was killed and at least 11 were wounded in clashes between the army and protesters sparked by concerns about pollution from a fertiliser plant in northern Egypt, the state news agency said.

Protesters closed off the port of the northern city of Damietta, on the Mediterranean, and roads adjacent to it, MENA said, adding that they had prevented ambulances from passing through to help those wounded in the clashes.

The protests began on Tuesday as residents demanded the relocation of a nitrogen plant jointly owned by state-owned Misr Oil Processing Company (Mopco) and Canadian firm Agrium, Reuters reports.

A security source said demonstrations in Damietta erupted over the plan to set up two new fertiliser plants in the area, but ended with the demonstrators demanding the original plant also be shut down.

Agrium could not immediately be reached for comment.

The security source said at least 11 people had been injured in the clashes as the army tried to disperse protesters. A security source said an army officer was among those wounded, blaming the injury on protesters carrying arms.

A witness said protesters stopped an ambulance from moving to a hospital morgue the corpse of the 21-year-old man, named Islam Abu-Amin, who died in the clashes.

The protesters drove the ambulance that was carrying the corpse to the governor’s office and chanted anti-government slogans, the source said. A medical source said the man suffered a bullet wound.

The governor of Damietta and other employees working in the building had fled before the arrival of the protesters, a source for the governor’s office said.



State news agency MENA said the army had successfully reopened the port early on Sunday but residents had regrouped a few hours later to shut it down again.