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US ships 21-tonne tear gas cargo to Tahrir, Egypt says no

Published time: November 30, 2011 09:41
Edited time: November 30, 2011 18:33

Cairo: Protesters run away from tear gas as they clash with riot police along a road which leads to the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square, in Cairo on November 22, 2011. (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

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Port workers in Egypt have refused to receive a shipment of tear gas ordered by the country’s Interior Ministry from the United States. They fear it will be used against protesters in Tahrir Square.

Employees at the Adabiya Seaport in coastal city Suez published shipping documents for delivery of a total of 21 tonnes of the crowd-dispersal agent, local mediareport.

The revelation comes as the first 7.5-tonne shipment from the American port of Wilmington arrived to Egypt. Some of the port workers refused to accept the cargo and made the deal public, provoking an official investigation into their actions.

The tear gas was produced by the Combined Systems company. The initial shipment consists of 479 barrels.

Image from Combined Systems website
Image from Combined Systems website

Egyptian police have been regularly using tear gas and other riot control equipment against the protesters who gather each day on Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Apparently the stocks have run low and had to be replenished.

The news angered many Egyptians, who asked why the interim government is buying tear gas instead of food to feed those without the money to feed themselves and jobs to earn their living.

Meanwhile the country has passed the first round of its three-stage parliamentary election. The voting was marred by violence on Tuesday night, in which some 80 protesters were injured.

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