Security forces enter Al-Azhar University, disperse protesting students

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Apr 2014

Student-led protests draw security forces to the east Cairo campus, while the university's student union releases a statement announcing an escalation against the administration

Riot police officers advance towards protesters at Al-Azhar University during clashes in Cairo October 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Security forces entered Al-Azhar University's campus on Wednesday to contain student protests held to denounce alleged police violations and a targeting of female students at the university's dormitories in the east Cairo district of Nasr City, Al-Ahram's Arabic website reported.

Tens of the students also gathered Wednesday morning on Al-Mokhayam Al-Dayem Street, which separates the university's female and male campuses, to chant slogans against the army, police and the recent announcement from former defence minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi that he would run for Egypt's presidency.

Also on Wednesday, Al-Azhar University's student union issued a statement affirming that it would seriously escalate its stance against the university's administration, Al-Ahram reported.

Al-Azhar University, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, has been the site of numerous protests since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Clashes have often broken out between pro-Morsi students and security forces at the university's campuses in Cairo and other cities.

In late March, students Ahmed Abdel-Hafez and Atta Ahmed were shot dead outside the university's dormitories, according to reports from Al-Ahram.

The university's administration has called for an urgent investigation into their deaths, state news agency MENA reported.

In February, the interim authorities issued a decree allowing security forces to enter campuses and granting university administrators the right to expel protesting students.

Since then, several students have been dismissed from many universities. 


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