Calm restored in Gharbiya in wake of clashes over governor appointment

Calm returned to Gharbiya governorate Wednesday morning following clashes that erupted in Tanta and Mahalla on Tuesday between protesters and Brotherhood supporters.

Mahalla City, a stronghold of Egypt’s labor movement, has been witnessing sporadic protests since Sunday motivated by various factors.

Dr. Mohamed Sharshar, deputy health minister in Gharbiya, said that the number of people injured in the clashes that erupted on Tuesday in Tanta, the capital city, had climbed to 23 people.

He said that the injured victims were transferred to al-Menshawy Public Hospital, as well as hospitals at Tanta University and in Tiba, adding that the injuries varied from bruises to cuts, likely caused by birdshot.

Other victims appeared to have breathing problems and fractures.

The protesters were opposed to the appointment of new Governor Ahmed al-Beyaly, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood's executive bureau in Damietta.

The opposition staged a protest outside the governorate's headquarters and were allegedly attacked by hundreds of Brotherhood members holding sticks.

During the clashes, the protesters attempted to break into the Freedom and Justice Party headquarters in Tanta and hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at the building.

The Gharbiya Security Directorate deployed Central Security Forces to secure the governorate headquarters and control the rioting.

On Sunday, Morsy appointed 17 new governors, including 7 from the Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition has vehemently objected to their selection, accusing Morsy of attempting to tighten his grip on power before opposition protests on 30 June.

Demonstrations against the reshuffle were held in a number of other governorates.

Edited translation from MENA

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