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Man shot dead by policeman in Cairo following row 'over the price of a cup of tea'

 The policeman got into an argument with a vendor over "the price of a drink" and shot him dead, injuring two others in the process

A RIOT erupted in Cairo today after a policeman shot three people following an argument over the price of a cup of tea, the Egyptian Interior Ministry and witnesses said.

The policeman got into an argument with a vendor over "the price of a drink" and shot him dead, injuring two others in the process, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said.

According to a report by Reuters the policeman shot three men with an assault rifle and fled. The victim is believed to have died from a bullet to the heart.

A witness said that a large crowd gathered soon after the incident, overturning a police vehicle and beating up another policeman at the scene.

"Security forces brought in two riot police vehicles and an armoured truck and the victim's family is here and pelting them with rocks," the witness said.

"Security forces are retreating and promising justice but the crowd is demanding police hand over the killer."

Public anger against police has surged in Egypt in recent months, said Reuters.

In February, a policeman shot dead a driver in the street in an argument over a fare, prompting hundreds to protest outside the Cairo security directorate.

There were also riots in Ismailia and the southern city Luxor over the authorities' handling of at least three deaths in police custody in a single week in November.

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