Clashes continue at several Egyptian universities

Ahram Online, Tuesday 1 Apr 2014

33 persons injured during clashes in Assiut and Beheira, according to the health ministry, as student-led protests erupt at 4 universities

Cairo University
Riot police officers take positions in front of Cairo University, as students who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Morsi March 30, 2014. (Photo: AP)

Clashes between students and security forces continued across several Egyptian governorates on Tuesday, leaving tens injured, including a police officer.

In Cairo, a police officer from the city's security directorate, Ibrahim Boktor, was shot in the leg with bird shot when alleged pro-Muslim Brotherhood students at Ain Shams University faced off with security forces in front of the university's campus, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

The clashes reportedly broke out after students removed stones from the university's pavement and threw them at security forces deployed in front of the university's main gate.

The police fired tear gas to disperse the student protesters and closed all roads leading to the nearby defence ministry, causing a traffic jam.

Similar protests broke out in other governorates on Tuesday.

Thirty-one citizens were injured in clashes at Al-Azhar University's branch in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut, according to a statement issued by the health ministry. The injured persons were sent to a nearby hospital.

The health ministry added that another two were injured at Damanhour University in the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira.

Also in the Nile Delta, a protest was organised at Mansoura University by Students against the Coup, a student-led coalition against the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last July.

The protesting students, along with some faculty members, demanded the release of colleagues who had been detained by security forces and also chanted against both the military and police.

The police fired tear gas to prevent the protesters from leaving the university's campus.

Clashes were also reported by Al-Ahram in Egypt's second largest city of Alexandria, where tens of students marched from Alexandria University's engineering faculty in Shatby district and blocked the Abu Qeir highway.

Students threw stones at the police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Egyptian universities have been the site of numerous protests since Morsi's ouster, with clashes often breaking out between security forces and students loyal to the Islamist president. Dozens have been arrested and several killed in the unrest.

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

The decision was criticised by many political figures and students bodies, who say the police's presence on campus amounts to political interference in student and faculty affairs.

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