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One killed as Islamist students and police clash in Cairo

CAIRO: One student was killed on Saturday and scores were arrested when supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with Egyptian police at the Cairo campus of Al-Azhar University, state media reported.

Shaimaa Mounir, a student activist, told Reuters that the dead student was Khaled El-Haddad, a supporter of the Brotherhood that was designated this week as a terrorist organization by the state.

State-run newspaper Al-Ahram said that security forces fired teargas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were preventing their classmates from entering university buildings to take exams.

Protesters threw rocks at police and set tires on fire to counter the teargas. Al-Ahram quoted a health ministry official as saying that one student had been killed and five injured.

The violence followed clashes across the country on Friday in which at least five people died.

Two college buildings caught fire in Saturday's violence. State TV broadcast footage of black smoke billowing from the faculty of commerce building and said "terrorist students" had set the agriculture faculty building on fire as well.

Police arrested 101 students for possession of makeshift weapons including petrol bombs, the state news agency reported. Calm had been restored, and scheduled exams had begun after the morning clashes.

Al-Azhar, a respected centre of Sunni Islamic learning, has for months been the scene of protests against what the Brotherhood calls a "military coup" that deposed Islamist Mohamed Mursi as president after a year in office.

Separately, a prosecutor ordered the continued detention of seven Al-Azhar students arrested during clashes on Thursday. Judicial sources said the students are being investigated on accusations of membership in a terrorist organization.

The students are the first to be ordered detained by the prosecutor on accusations of belonging to a terrorist group since the Brotherhood was declared one on December 25.

That move increased the penalties for dissent against the government installed after the army ousted Mursi in July following mass protests against his rule.

The widening crackdown against the movement that was elected into power after the toppling of veteran leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011 has increased tension in a country suffering the worst internal strife of its modern history following Mursi's ousting.

Source: Reuters
 

 

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