11/22/2013, 00.00
EGYPT
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Islamist students protest across the country against al-Azhar

Protests began yesterday at the Sunni university, escalating today after a student was killed. Young demonstrators again attacked Ahmed Al- Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, accusing him of being in league with the military. To prevent further occupations, police blocked the campus entrance and arrested 38 people, mostly aged between 14 and 17 years.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Protests by students affiliated with Islamist groups continue on university campuses across Egypt after a student was killed during a police raid at al-Azhar University.

Police have arrested 38 people, mostly teenagers, after groups of young supporters of President Mohamed Morsi began occupying Egypt's largest Sunni univeristy three days ago.

Today, President Mansour Adly's caretaker government issued orders allowing police to patrol the campus of al-Azhar in order to avoid further unrest.

The decision, taken without the approval of university administrators according to student leaders, has sparked a new wave of protests in other universities.

The latest violence began Thursday when dozens of students from various Cairo universities converged on al-Azhar armed with petrol bombs, rudimentary firearms and sticks.

They were joined by other Muslim Brotherhood supporters from the Cairo-based university, who chanted slogans against Ahmed al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar.

The insults against one of the foremost figures in Sunni Islam triggered a reaction from pro-caretaker government students.

In order to separate the two groups, police did not hesitate from using tear gas. But in the resulting chaos, a young student died, sparking more unrest in city's other universities.

Yesterday, hundreds of Morsi supporters, but also members of the 'Way of the Revolution Front', a group that is opposed to both Islamists and the military, gathered in front of the Faculty of Engineering building of Ein Shams University, blocking the road that leads to Cairo International Airport.

Alexandria's universities also saw protests, as dozens of students affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood marched through the city's streets and stopped traffic on the road that runs along the waterfront.

On Tuesday two people were killed in front of the Arab League headquarters on Tahrir Square during a protest marking the second anniversary of the massacre of Mohammed Mahmoud Street (20 November 2011).

Yesterday, police charged seven teenagers aged 14 to 17 arrested during the clashes with murder, illegal weapons possession and vandalism.

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