Riot police wait after tear gas was fired at students, who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Mursi who were protesting against the military and interior ministry, in front of the faculty of Oral & Dental Medicine in Cairo University at Kasr El Aini street in downtown Cairo, April 9, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Clashes between security forces and students supporting ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi continued on Wednesday at universities in Cairo, as students protested to demand the release of colleagues detained in recent demonstrations.
A protest at Cairo University's faculty of medicine, near the downtown thoroughfare of Qasr Al-Aini Street, resulted in a confrontation with security forces when the students began to march towards the university's main campus in Giza, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
At the same time, a similar group of students blocked the streets around the university's faculty of dentistry building.
Students from both faculties called for the release of their detained colleagues.
Dean of the dentistry faculty Dr. Hisham Katamish ordered the building to be cleared of students as well as patients when clashes erupted between the protesting students and angry locals from the nearby district of Al-Manial – a previous site of violent confrontations between residents and Muslim Brotherhood protesters following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last July.
At Ain Shams University, north Cairo, a group of pro-Morsi students as well a group calling themselves "Students against the Coup" chanted slogans against the army and police. Clashes erupted inside the campus between the pro-Morsi students and the university's security personnel.
The police later arrived to contain the clashes with tear gas.
According to a decree issued last year, the head of a university has the right to order police forces onto campus in order to restore security.
The clashes on Wednesday in downtown Cairo and the eastern district of Nasr City affected the city's traffic, forcing police to close several streets and divert cars onto other roads.
Clashes also erupted in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut, where pro-Morsi students organised a rally at the city's branch of Al-Azhar University to also demand the release of detained students. Security forces forced the students back onto the campus when they tried to march outside.
Later, the students fought with the university's security personnel, hurling Molotov cocktails and fireworks while being tear gassed.
Fifteen students were arrested, according to Al-Ahram.