A witness says Egyptian security forces fired a tear gas canister to disperse taxi drivers who are blocking a major road in the capital, Cairo, in protest at the car hailing app Uber.

Lamia el-Etriby says the canister was thrown Tuesday at the drivers after they left their cars. They had blocked all but one lane, causing a major traffic jam as police vehicles arrived at the area.

Taxi drivers have been protesting Uber's presence in the country in recent weeks, leading to a decline in the availability of cars on the app as Uber drivers fear being ambushed by taxi drivers or the police.

Domestic newspapers have published unconfirmed reports by officials saying drivers from Uber and Careem — another car hailing app — were violating Egyptian law.