Student killed in clashes at Egyptian university

Saturday 28 December 2013 22.15
The violence took place at the Cairo campus of Al-Azhar University
The violence took place at the Cairo campus of Al-Azhar University

A student has been killed and scores were arrested when supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with Egyptian police at the Cairo campus of Al-Azhar University.  

Shaimaa Mounir, a student activist, said the dead student was Khaled El-Haddad, a supporter of the Islamist movement which has continued daily protests after the government designated it a terrorist organisation this week.           

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

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

Police arrested 101 students for possession of makeshift weapons including petrol bombs. Calm was restored and scheduled exams went ahead 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 in July after a year in office.

The Brotherhood condemned what it called a "violent crackdown on student protests", saying in a statement that the deployment of security forces on university campuses was an attempt by the government to "silence any voice of opposition."

Security sources confirmed the Brotherhood's statement that nine Al-Azhar students have been killed in clashes with police since the start of the academic year in September. On Friday, at least five people died in clashes across Egypt.

Two college buildings caught fire in the 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.

The Brotherhood's London press office said the buildings were set on fire by security forces, not the student protesters.