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A university student died Wednesday after being shot at a gas station in 15th of May City during a fight over gasoline. Another injured man was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.
An ongoing fuel shortage is causing traffic congestion and rising tensions nationwide, leading citizens to block major arteries such as the Zagazig highway and the main road leading to the Aswan High Dam in protest.
The shooting occurred after a fight broke out among a large number of drivers at a highway gas station when dozens of people trying to fill their tanks stormed the station.
Gas station employees fired a barrage of bullets to disperse the drivers and shot the man as he was passing in front of the station. He died immediately and was transferred to a hospital morgue.
On Tuesday, Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab said about 3 million liters of gas were being delivered to gas stations nationwide and that the shortage would be over by Wednesday. At a press conference following the cabinet meeting held to discuss the crisis, Ghorab explained that such shortages occur frequently, but are usually sparked by rumors, which he said is the case for this panic.
Ghorab appealed to Egyptians not to believe the rumors, saying that gas is available and there is no need to store it.
A number of warnings issued early Saturday on Facebook and Twitter claimed that the government was planning to raise gas and diesel fuel prices in response to demands by the International Monetary Fund, Ghorab said. An IMF delegation is currently visiting Egypt.
Ghorab said that although the government denied these rumors, some gas station owners raised prices, and "jerry cans and drums" of gas are being sold on the black market. The Interior Ministry seized Monday 400,000 liters of smuggled gas, including 10,000 liters in Alexandria alone, he said.