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Al-Azhar students stage protest following food-poisoning outbreak

After hundreds are struck down by food poisoning at university dormitory, angry students break university HQ's main gate, block major thoroughfare

Ahram Online, Tuesday 2 Apr 2013
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Hundreds of students from Cairo's Al-Azhar on Tuesday afternoon stormed the university's headquarters to protest alleged poor health conditions in the university's dormitory following an outbreak of food poisoning on Monday night.

Protesting students broke the building's main gate and blocked the nearby Salah Salem Road, a main thoroughfare in Cairo's Masr Al-Gedida district.

A number of students also staged a protest march from the university's nearby campus to the headquarters building.

On Monday evening, almost 500 students – all of whom reside at the university dormitory – were diagnosed with food poisoning after eating the same meal.

Shortly afterwards, hundreds of angry students gathered to protest what they described as the dormitory's deteriorating health conditions and alleged negligence by university management.

On Tuesday morning, President Mohamed Morsi visited affected students at the university's hospital and asked that they be provided with all necessary medical treatment.

Morsi also heard the grievances of students and their families, and was given a report prepared by the university's head of health insurance on deteriorating health conditions at the university.

Some protesting students have called for the resignation of the Al-Azhar University president, while the Al-Azhar student union released a statement demanding an "immediate investigation" into the incident.

 

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