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Violence breaks out in Egypt's Sohag area

GERGA, Egypt, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The streets of Gerga in Egypt's Sohag governate were calm Wednesday but threatened to erupt into violence after three recent deaths, witnesses said.

Officials confirmed at least three people died in confrontations in recent days among neighboring rival communities, Egyptian media reported.

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Violence broke out Tuesday after the funeral for one of the deceased, al-Masry al-Youm said.

Witnesses said the rival factions threw Molotov cocktails at each other and blocked railroad tracks, stopping train traffic for more than nine hours.

Al-Masry al-Youm also reported rioters set ablaze the Gerga police station and took 400 weapons from the station, but returned the weapons after officials promised there would be no penalties for their removal.

Government facilities were closed because of the unrest and security forces erected 12 barricades to separate the communities.

One witness told Bikyamasr.com Wednesday the situation was quiet but tense.

"People are angry and they are armed with guns and this has made all of us very scared," the witness said.

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