CAIRO, (Xinhua): At least 15 people were killed Monday evening in a brawl between street vendors and a shop owner over space in downtown Cairo, state-run MENA news agency reported.
“The fight started when vendors attempted to establish their stands outside a large cosmetic store in Moski area in central Cairo, and the store owner shot dead two of them,” MENA quoted a security official as saying.
Angry vendors then set fire to the store where the owner and 12 of his workers were burned to death.
Five fire engines hurried to the scene and managed to put the fire off before it reached adjacent stores.
Criminal detectives are currently combing the area to arrest the vendors involved in the fight.
There was no indication that the violence was linked to the mounting tensions between Egypt’s interim government and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi
The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic allies have accused the military of staging a coup and called on nationwide protests, pushing for the release and reinstatement of Morsi.
Nearly 300 people have died in violence since Morsi was deposed and replaced by interim leader Adli Mansour earlier this month.
The United States, Germany, the United Nations and the European Union (EU) have called for Morsi’s release. Egypt’s interim government said Morsi was in a safe place and well-treated.
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was headed to meet Morsi early Tuesday, local media reported.
Ashton arrived in Cairo late Sunday for her second visit to Egypt in less than two weeks. She met with leaders of the interim government and Islamic parties in a bid to mediate between Egypt’s deeply divided political factions.