Police forces managed to end a clash that erupted between inmates on Monday night inside Tanta’s first district police station in Gharbeya governorate.
The Ministry of Interior’s Media Office refuted widely-circulated reports that claimed the unrest was caused by a fire inside the police station. The ministry told Daily News Egypt on Tuesday that the disturbance was “just a quarrel”.
Several media outlets, including state-run Akhbar Al-Youm, reported a different narrative that attributes the cause of the riot to a fire which broke out when some inmates set their blankets and clothes alight. According to reports, six ambulances rushed to the scene to treat the injured inmates, just after guards stormed the cells as thick smoke began to billow out from the station.
“Gharbeya Security Directory was notified that a quarrel arose between inmates. Officials immediately moved to the police station to end it. Guards sprayed water from fire hoses to disperse the inmates who were quarrelling. This action resulted in five inmates being slightly wounded,” an official at the media office explained to Daily News Egypt.
The officials regained control of the situation. The families of the inmates were granted special permission to visit inmates to assure that their imprisoned relatives were well, according to the media office.
Several media reports indicated that the families of the inmates were protesting while security forces were dealing with the situation inside the police station.
The families, believing that a fire had broken out, gathered in front of the police station. Fire engines which parked close to the station were only used to disperse the riot with water hoses, the media office official added.
Akhbar Al-Youm reported that the police station was closed after the incident. Police forces were deployed to secure the police station and the surrounding area in case of any trouble caused by inmates’ families.