Ethnic conflict in Egypt leaves several dead

Ethnic vendettas are common in the rural and poor south, but this week's violence is the worst in recent memory, say security officials. (AFP)

Ethnic vendettas are common in the rural and poor south, but this week's violence is the worst in recent memory, say security officials. (AFP)

At least 15 people were killed in ethnic conflict in Egypt on Saturday, security officials said, prompting police to send reinforcements to quell the unrest.

The fighting between the Bani Hilal group and Nubian villagers in the southern province of Aswan was ongoing and the death toll is expected to rise, the officials said.

On Thursday, the rival sides attended a reconciliation meeting aimed at ending long-standing disputes, but an argument broke out and became a firefight that killed three tribesmen, the security officials said.

Ethnic vendettas are common in the rural and poor south but this week's violence is the worst in recent memory, they said.

Police began to reassert themselves across the country after a breakdown in law and order following a 2011 uprising that overthrew strongman Hosni Mubarak. – AFP

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