Islamist students torch Cairo buildings

2013-12-28 13:13
Students who support the Muslim Brotherhood clash with Egyptian riot policemen who surround the entrance of al-Azhar university, in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district. (Khaled Desouki, AFP)

Students who support the Muslim Brotherhood clash with Egyptian riot policemen who surround the entrance of al-Azhar university, in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district. (Khaled Desouki, AFP)

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

Cairo - Student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday stormed a faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University where exams were being taken and set it on fire, security officials say.

The blaze, which spread through two floors of the commerce faculty building, was later brought under control by firefighters, they said.

A student activist said a supporter of the Brotherhood, designated this week as a terrorist organisation by the state, had been killed, although a security source denied this.

State-run newspaper Al-Ahram said the clashes began when 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 tyres on fire to counter the teargas.

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.

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 Mohammed Morsi as president after a year in office.

Shaimaa Mounir, a member of the pro-Brotherhood "Students Against the Coup" movement, said that Khaled El-Haddad died of a wound, though it was not clear whether he had been hit by birdshot or another kind of ammunition.

It was not immediately possible to confirm the student's account, and a security source denied there had been any deaths.

The violence followed a day of clashes across the country that left five people dead.

Supporters of the Brotherhood took to the streets on Friday after the government designated the Islamist group a terrorist organisation - a move that increases the penalties for dissent against the government installed after the army ousted Morsi 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 Morsi's ousting.

Constitution vote

The army-backed government appears bent on clamping down on dissent ahead of a referendum next month on a new constitution, a step that will pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.

Thousands of Brotherhood members have been arrested. More than 250 Brotherhood supporters were arrested on Friday alone using the new classification.

Human Rights Watch said on Saturday that the government's designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group was "politically driven" and intended to end all of the movement's activities.

"By rushing to point the finger at the Brotherhood without investigations or evidence, the government seems motivated solely by its desire to crush a major opposition movement." said Sarah Leah Whitson of the New York-based rights group.

A conservative estimate puts the overall death toll since Morsi's fall at well over 1 500. Most of those killed were Morsi supporters, including hundreds gunned down when the security forces cleared a protest vigil outside a Cairo mosque.

At least 350 members of the security forces have also been killed in bombings and shootings since Morsi's downfall. The state has declared them martyrs of a war on terrorism.

An adviser to interim president Adli Mansour said in comments published on Saturday that he believed Egypt would not return to a state of emergency even if the violence continued.

Authorities lifted the state of emergency in November, three months after the army enforced the measures amid the bloody turmoil that followed its overthrow of Morsi.

Mustafa Hijazi told London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group was not political. "Instead, it is the use and application of existing laws," he was quoted as saying.

Under the anti-terrorism law dating back to the presidency of Mubarak, those convicted can be jailed for life. Authorities said this week that the movement's leaders could face the death sentence.

Read more on:    hrw  |  muslim brotherhood  |  adli mansour  |  mohammed morsi  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  egypt conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Newlands - 13:00 PM
    Road name: M3 Southbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching the Newlands Avenue exit
  • Wednesday Bakoven - 12:59 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    DELAYS between Oudekraal and Bakoven
 
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!

Kalahari.com - 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 kalahari.com. 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 kalahari.com’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

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

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

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.