Clashes hit 2nd Cairo university

2013-12-11 07:24
Students at Al-Azhar University hurled rocks at the police and tried to block traffic on a major thoroughfare outside the campus in eastern Cairo. (Mohamed Hassan, AP)

Students at Al-Azhar University hurled rocks at the police and tried to block traffic on a major thoroughfare outside the campus in eastern Cairo. (Mohamed Hassan, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egyptian security forces fired tear gas to disperse students protesting outside Cairo University in support of the country's ousted Islamist president on Tuesday as unrest spread to a second college campus in the capital.

Across town, students at the Islamic Al-Azhar University in eastern Cairo have clashed sporadically with police since Sunday as they rally in support of 20 of their peers who have been arrested and charged for protesting against the military-backed authorities.

Since the military removed President Mohammed Morsi from power in early July, Egypt's security forces have conducted a relentless crackdown against the ousted leader's Muslim Brotherhood, killing more than 1 000 of the fundamentalist group's supporters and rounding up most of its leaders.

On Tuesday, 10 local and 3 international rights groups urged the Egyptian authorities to establish a fact-finding committee to acknowledge and investigate the crackdown. They also called for sweeping reforms of security agencies that have rarely been held accountable for any abuse or use of excessive force.

The ongoing campaign against the Brotherhood has largely succeeded in curbing near daily pro-Morsi protests. But universities - where the Brotherhood has long enjoyed a strong presence - have emerged as a key battleground in Egypt's political turmoil since the start of the academic year in September.

A day after violence and arrests at Al-Azhar University, students at Cairo University on Tuesday clashed with security forces after trying to march out of the sprawling campus toward a large intersection that links the school's grounds with a bustling commercial neighbourhood, a security official said.

The official said students lobbed plastic bags filled with water at security forces outside the university and chanted against the police and the military. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, set up barbed wire to close off access to the university and deployed more armoured vehicles as reinforcements, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Hazem Tarek, a student leader at Cairo University, said hundreds of students went out to support their colleagues at Al-Azhar University, and were met with tear gas from the police. He said pitched street battles with the police broke out, and at least four students were wounded by shotgun pellets.

Students at Cairo University also protested earlier this academic year.

Brotherhood escalating protests

Small clashes also broke out on Tuesday at two universities in the southern city of Assuit, where police fired tear gas at rock-throwing students. Security official Major General Abu el-Qassem Abu-Deif said 18 students were arrested.

At Al-Azhar, meanwhile, student spokesperson Mahmoud Salah said hundreds of students went on strike Tuesday in solidarity with university staff members who he said were beaten by security forces a day earlier.

Police prevented the students from leaving the campus and lobbed canisters of tear gas at their marches. Female protesters on a separate campus of Al-Azhar later took to the streets. Video broadcast on Egyptian television stations showed police firing salvos of tear gas in streets surrounding the campus to disperse the crowd.

On Monday, clashes broke out at Al-Azhar during a protest by some 200 students. At least three security vehicles were torched in the violence, and dozens of students were arrested.

Government officials accuse the Brotherhood of escalating its protests and fuelling student action to derail a key vote expected next month on amendments to the constitution adopted under Morsi. The vote is to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.

The Brotherhood and Morsi allies denounce the amendments as "illegitimate." They also accuse the military-backed government of seeking to eradicate the group, and vow to bring leaders of the military coup to trial.

Selective investigations

In their statement, the 13 rights groups said that the deaths of more than 1 330 protesters since Morsi's ouster have never been investigated.

They also called the killing of up to 1 000 on 14 August, when security forces broke up pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo, the "single biggest incident of mass killing in Egypt's recent history."

The groups, which included some of Egypt's most prominent rights groups as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said the killing of 50 protesters by security forces during Morsi's tenure as well as some 80 demonstrators during the transitional period of military rule immediately after the 2011 uprising also were never investigated.

"Over the past two and a half years, in spite of overwhelming evidence gathered by human rights groups, the Interior Ministry has denied any wrongdoing on the part of the police in any incident that led to deaths," the groups said in a statement.

"In all of these incidents, prosecutors have selectively investigated only protesters on charges of assault after clashes with security forces and ignored the steadily rising death toll among protesters."

The groups called on the government to set up an independent fact finding committee, make the findings public and launch institutional reform to avoid repeated violations.

- AP

Read more on:    muslim brotherhood  |  egypt  |  north africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:11 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS approaching the M5 Koeberg Interchange
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:04 AM
    Road name: Metro Rail
    Train services on the Northern Line are delayed due to vandalism at Blackheath and faulty track circuits between Kentemade and Acacia Park
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.