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