Egyptian police fire tear gas and water cannon on protesters
Egyptian students who support the Muslim Brotherhood (background) clash with riot policemen outside the University of Cairo campus in the capital on December 11, 2013. [AFP]
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Egyptian riot police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of pro-Islamist protesters demonstrating near the headquarters of the ministry of defense in Cairo on Thursday, Reuters cited security sources as saying.
Egypt has been witnessing almost daily protests by supporters of elected Islamist president Mohammed Mursi since the army removed him in July after mass protests against his rule.
Mursi’s removal opened one of the bloodiest chapters in Egypt’s modern history. Hundreds of Mursi supporters were killed by security forces, who wanted to see the ousted president reinstalled.
On Tuesday, students were arrested after they protested on campuses in Cairo University and two others in the southern city of Assuit.
Amid a heavy security presence in the Egyptian streets and the closure of several main protest squares such as Tahrir, Rabaa al-Adawya and Ennhada, universities have become key battle grounds for students who oppose the military-backed authorities.
In November, Egypt’s army-installed interim government issued a law that banned protests near or originating from places of worship, and made it compulsory to seek Interior Ministry permission to hold a demonstration.
However, since the law was passed, hundreds of Brotherhoodprotesters and other liberal activists have been arrested for demonstrating without police permission.
On Sunday, students at the Islamic Al-Azhar University in eastern Cairo have also clashed with police in a rally in support of 20 of protesters who have been arrested and charged for protesting against the military-backed authorities.
Since the toppling of Mursi, the Sinai Peninsula has also witnessed increased attacks by Islamist militants. The attacks killed some 200 Egyptian soldiers and policemen.
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