Islamist students rounded up over pro-Morsi protests

Ahram Online , Monday 21 Oct 2013

Egyptian authorities detain tens of Azhar University students after protests on campus in support of Morsi

Al-Azhar University clashes
Protesters throw stones while running away from a riot police vehicle advancing toward them near Al-Azhar University in Cairo October 20, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of students following protests supporting deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on Sunday, judicial sources told Ahram Online.  

Hundreds of students from the historic Al-Azhar University demonstrated on campus over the past two days against what they call a "coup" against the country's first freely elected president.

Some 43 students face charges of rioting, road blocking, assaulting police and damaging public property.

Students have vowed to stage more protests on Monday, the third day of the new academic year, which was delayed twice for security reasons.

A state of disorder reigned outside the university campus on Sunday as protesting students threw stones at forces stationed outside, and police hailed teargas at them.

Students also demanded the release of fellow students arrested during political unrest following Morsi's ouster and the dismissal of Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb, who had given his blessing to Morsi's removal.

Al-Azhar University is affiliated with Al-Azhar, Egypt's highest seat of Sunni Islam.

Studies at universities in Cairo and elsewhere have been crippled by recurrent pro-Morsi protests, which at times have triggered violent clashes between groups for and against the former president.

Many pro-Morsi students have been arrested in the past few weeks.

A sustained clampdown by security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood has severely impaired the group's ability to muster street support, prompting Islamists to focus their sights on campuses, traditional hubs of political activism.

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