The Latest: Egypt Says 31 Police Injured in Clashes

CAIRO — The Latest on events in Egypt (all times local):

05:15 p.m.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry says 31 policemen have been injured in clashes with residents of a Nile river island in Cairo.

A ministry statement said Sunday’s clashes began when police attempted to remove illegal buildings on state land on al-Waraq island on Cairo’s southern fringes.

Image result for al-Waraq island, photos

The people on  al-Waraq island are called “The Nile Dwellers”

It said residents attacked the police with birdshots guns and rocks. The police responded with tear gas.

Illegal use of state land is widely common in Egypt, as well as building on agrarian land in violation of the law.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is spearheading a nationwide campaign to end illegal use of state land, with police and army troops have for weeks been daily demolishing buildings or commercial facilities illegally built or operating without license.

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5 p.m.

Egypt’s military says its jet-fighters have destroyed 15 all-terrain vehicles carrying weapons and explosives along with “criminal elements” after they were detected getting ready to cross the Libyan border into Egypt.

A military statement Sunday said warplanes monitored and “dealt” with the vehicles over the past 24 hours, but it did not say whether the airstrikes targeted them while on Egyptian soil. It also did not mention Libya by name.

Egypt’s porous desert border with Libya has been the source of serious concern to authorities, who contend Islamic militants and smugglers use it as their route into Egypt. It said militants who attacked Christians in a series of suicide bombings in recent months were trained and sponsored by extremists in Libya, where chaos has prevailed since a 2011 uprising.

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