Government officials and local witnesses in Egypt say at least 18 people have been killed in a bloody feud between an Arab clan and a Nubian family in the country's southern Aswan province.

Abdel-Sabbour Hassan, a Nubian activist, said Saturday the feud started as a graffiti war between students from the two clans on the walls of a local school.

Adel Abu Bakr, a Nubian resident of Aswan, said members of the Arab Beni Hilal tribe killed three Nubians on Friday, including a woman. Following the funeral, hundreds of Nubians attacked the Arab neighborhood, killing over a dozen. A local government statement said at least 18 have been killed so far.

Abu Bakr said the police failed to stem the violence and called for the army to intervene.