Cairo police kill man, crack down on raging crowd (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

An Egyptian man has been killed in front of a luxury hotel in central Cairo after police opened fire on an angry crowd of around 500 people. The demonstrators set ablaze dozens of vehicles parked outside the hotel, and had tried to storm the lobby.

The violence broke out after a resident of poor nearby district, who had been hired for temporary security work at the Fairmont Hotel in Cairo’s Nile City Towers, was refused pay and prevented from entering the hotel by police on Thursday.

He was shot dead as he tried to storm the hotel with a group of his comrades, local media report.

The group, which was 500 strong, arrived from the nearby Ramlet Boulaq district soon after the man was gunned down. They set fire to several cars and motorcycles in the parking lot and tried to enter the hotel, forcing police to deploy tear gas and bird shot to disperse the crowd.

Witnesses also claim that live ammunition was used, but these reports could not be independently verified.

The tear gas spread from the clashes into a residential slum area, suffocating at least one young girl, according to residents.

On Tuesday, the Fairmont hosted US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was in Egypt for talks with newly-elected President Mohamed Morsi.  

The building has repeatedly come under attack by residents of nearby slums. On June 27, the tower’s staff reportedly refused to provide water to extinguish a fire in a nearby shack, causing outrage among locals after a five-year-old boy died in the fire.

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Black smoke rises from burning cars as Egyptian firefighters and bystanders try to extinguish several cars that caught on fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Gianluigi Geurcia)
Black smoke rises from burning cars as Egyptian firefighters and bystanders try to extinguish several cars that caught on fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Gianluigi Geurcia)
 Smoke and flames rise from a car that caught on fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012  (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
Smoke and flames rise from a car that caught on fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
 Egyptian firefighters and bystanders try to extinguish several cars that caught fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
Egyptian firefighters and bystanders try to extinguish several cars that caught fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
Egyptian firefighters and bystanders try to extinguish several cars that caught fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
Egyptian firefighters and bystanders try to extinguish several cars that caught fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
Egyptian riot policemen sit in the shade by damaged buildings on August 2, 2012, as an Egyptian woman and children walk through debris from the aftermath of clashes on August 1, between Christians and Muslims in Dahshur village, on the outskirts of Cairo (AFP Photo / Tarek El Gabbas)
Egyptian riot policemen sit in the shade by damaged buildings on August 2, 2012, as an Egyptian woman and children walk through debris from the aftermath of clashes on August 1, between Christians and Muslims in Dahshur village, on the outskirts of Cairo (AFP Photo / Tarek El Gabbas)
Egyptian riot police stand behind destroyed cars that caught on fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)
Egyptian riot police stand behind destroyed cars that caught on fire outside the Nile City Towers during clashes between Egyptian policemen and an unknown mob from a near by neighbourhood in Cairo on August 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mohamed Hossam)