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Egypt's Al-Azhar University suffers LE10 million in losses in violence

Egypt's ancient Islamic institution estimates losses at LE10 million after Islamist students raid administrative offices, vows to clamp down on culprits

Ahram Online , Thursday 31 Oct 2013
Al-Azhar University
People and police are seen through a hole in the wall of the al-Azhar university administration building after students tried to break-in during student protests in Cairo October 30, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Islamic Al-Azhar University has announced that the initial losses caused by Wednesday's violence on campus amount to LE10 million ($1.4 million).

Dozens of Islamist protesters stormed the university's main administrative building in Cairo on Wednesday, causing serious damage.

The ensuing turmoil prompted police to enter the campus for the first time since a 2010 court ruling barred interior ministry personnel from university grounds. At least 26 arrests were made.

"Those claiming peacefulness sabotaged and damaged the building, scaled walls, and smashed doors and windows," read a Wednesday statement by Egypt's top institution for Sunni Islamic instruction.

The administration also extended thanks for the police's intervention on campus.

Police moved in at the request of University President Dr Osama El-Abd, who, alongside another executive, remained in the building "to protect souls and public property," the interior ministry said.

"Their criminal acts will remain a disgrace throughout history," added the statement. "The Egyptian people will not forget the heinous crime they committed by alleging peaceful protests."

The university administration added that it was determined to finish the academic year as planned, vowing to hunt down the perpetrators.

Outside of Cairo, almost two dozen students were wounded in the Nile Delta and Alexandria when Islamists clashed with opponents on university grounds, a security official said.

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