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Egypt police, protesters clash at Cairo university

Published: Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 8:59 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP Photo/Heba el-Kholy, El Shorouk Newspaper)
Egyptians run from tear gas after clashes erupted between Al-Azhar students and police forces during a protest in the Nasr City district of Cairo, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. The protests were the second in two days at Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islamís most prominent center of learning. Many supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsiís Muslim Brotherhood group are students at Al-Azhar, a stronghold of the group and steps from former site of an Islamistsí sprawling protest camp which came under heavy crackdown by security forces on. 14, leaving hundreds dead and sparking days of unrest and violence across the country.

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian anti-riot police fired tear gas Sunday at hundreds of supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president, besieging them inside a prestigious Muslim institution after stone-hurling protesters cut off a main road.

Sunday's clashes marked the second day of unrest at Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's most prominent center of learning. Many supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood are students at Al-Azhar, a stronghold of the group. The campus is also near where Islamists had a sprawling protest camp that security forces raided in August, leaving hundreds dead and sparking days of unrest.

The students' protest started with a march inside campus, where protesters hurled stones at the administrator's offices, smashing windows and breaking doors, said Ibrahim el-Houdhoud, deputy head of the university. He told satellite news channel Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr that he warned protesters against leaving campus and clashing with security forces.

The protesters however ignored the advice, marching out of the main gates to hold "prayers for the dead" — honoring students killed in earlier clashes between security forces and protesters in July.

The protests come amid heated debate over a new law that would place tougher restrictions on demonstrators, which includes imposing heavy fines and possible jail time on violators.

Morsi was overthrown by the military July 3 after millions took to the streets to demand he step down. Since then, Cairo has seen non-stop demonstrations by his supporters demanding his return. A military-backed crackdown has left hundreds dead and seen thousands arrested.

Ousting Morsi escalated militant attacks in Egypt, especially in the volatile Sinai peninsula. Egypt's interior minister escaped an assassination attempt when a car bomb targeted his convoy near his residence in Cairo last month.

Egypt's official news agency MENA reported that two members of Central Security Forces were injured Sunday when their bus came under attack near border town of Rafah in northern Sinai. Militants attacked the bus with automatic weapons and fled the scene. The soldiers were heading to their camp in Rafah.

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