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One student dead, two journalists wounded at Cairo University


Reports indicate live ammunition was used during dispersal; Ministry of Interior denies claims

Egyptian students, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, demonstrate outside Cairo University, on April 9, 2014  (AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)

Egyptian students, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, demonstrate outside Cairo University, on April 9, 2014
(AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)

One student was shot dead and two journalists were critically wounded Monday during a Students Against the Coup (SAC) march as security forces dispersed the on-campus protest.

The dead student was identified by state owned Al-Ahram as Mohamed Adel, a student in the faculty for Arabic language and Islamic thought. Adel is the 14th student to be killed in protest dispersals during the 2013/2014 school year.

Two journalists were also wounded, one by live ammunition and another by birdshot.

Khaled Hussein, a photographer for the private Youm7 newspaper, received a gunshot wound in the chest. Amr Abdel-Fattah, who works for the private TV station Sada El-Balad, was shot by birdshot while covering clashes in front of the university’s Faculty of Science, according to Al-Ahram.

Both journalists were transferred to Qasr Al-Eini hospital for treatment. Both are reportedly in stable condition.

Shortly after the shootings, the Ministry of Interior released a statement saying that “Police officers were outside the Cairo University campus using only tear gas to disperse protests outside the main gates of the university,” although first-hand accounts from protesters and journalists at the scene contradict that claim.

Privately-owned El-Badil newspaper published a video of Monday’s clashes that seemed to suggest that security forces were armed. The clip, which shows chaos inside the main gates of the university, closes with a scene of terrified protesters carrying a wounded Hussein to an ambulance.

Other images show armed Ministry of Interior personnel aiming weapons into the grounds of Cairo University, although it is impossible to verify their authenticity.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told state-run MENA Tuesday that the casualties from Monday’s protest were caused by “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation”, which are “escalating terrorist practices” to create “discord between state institutions and citizens”.

Ibrahim added that a research team was formed from “high-level sectors of national and public security to identify those involved in the violence and rioting that took place at Cairo University.”

Ibrahim appealed to journalists to exercise caution while covering “the randomised practices of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation,” while undertaking “the sacred mission of conveying the truth”.

During Monday’s clashes, Maria, a coordinator for the female wing of SAC at Cairo University who preferred not to disclose her last name, said there were numerous injuries from live ammunition in addition to one fatality.

Photojournalist Amru Salahuddien, also said Central Security Forces used live ammunition and targeted journalists. “I have a nice hole in my backpack and I saw a couple of students severely injured,” he said.

Dispersals like Monday’s have drawn wide condemnation, with the most recent coming from the Association for the Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), which released a statement Sunday condemning police incursions onto university campuses nationwide as well as the death of a student from wounds suffered 18 days earlier during a protest dispersal in Alexandria.

Clashes erupt at Cairo University on an almost weekly basis, as SAC members gather for marches in support of their detained colleagues and ousted former president Mohamed Morsi.

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