'Universities are for learning not throwing Molotov cocktails': Egypt PM

Ahram Online, Thursday 23 Oct 2014

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab condemns protests at universities after a student dies from birdshot wounds sustained during clashes at Alexandria University

Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab speaks during a a televised news conference at his office in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, July 5, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has called for an end to violence that has erupted across university campuses since the start of the new academic year and saw its first fatality on Tuesday.

"Universities are a place for learning not throwing Molotov cocktails," Mahlab said at a press conference following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Some students and outsiders want to drag the police onto campuses, he said – a reference to supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We are trying to control the leakage of weapons onto campuses and impose discipline to protect students and the learning process," he added.

Mahlab reiterated that police would only enter campuses upon the request of university presidents.

A student at Alexandria University died in hospital on Tuesday after being injured by birdshot during clashes with police a week earlier.

Police have stormed at least five campuses and arrested over 180 students since the start of the semester on 11 October as anti-government protests – mostly by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi – continue.

Last year at least 14 students died in similar clashes as universities became a focus for anti-government protests, led by pro-Morsi students.

The government designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation last year, and has blamed the group for terrorist attacks, mostly targeting police and army targets.


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