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Clashes at Cairo University leave one student dead

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SAC spokesman denies intent to obstruct exams and announces a “short pause” to avoid more student casualties and detentions

Minor clashes took place between security forces and Students Against the Coup (SAC) at Cairo University on Tuesday. (Photo by AbdelHalim H. AbdAllah)

Minor clashes took place between security forces and Students Against the Coup (SAC) at Cairo University on Tuesday.
(Photo by AbdelHalim H. AbdAllah\DNE)

Clashes took place between security forces and Students Against the Coup (SAC) at Cairo University on Tuesday, leaving one senior student from the Faculty of Engineering dead.

The deceased, Islam Ghanem, had been suffering from an injured eye from clashes with security forces that took place during the first term, student sources said. According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, two students were injured and were transported to the university hospital.

Central Security Forces (CSF) were based outside the university campus and did not storm the university. Two military armored personnel carriers (APCs) were seen behind the CSF to “back the police force and secure the area,” according to the Commander who was leading the group of security forces.

The General leading the CSF outside Cairo University, who declined to give his name, claimed that the protesters were allowed to protest “even off campus” and clashes started when the students returned to campus and used fireworks against the security forces based outside. He also claimed that the protesters used a “pellet bomb” against the security forces.

SAC Female Students Coordinator at Cairo University who uses the pseudonym Maria confirmed that the clashes started after the protesters returned on campus, but denied that the students started it. She also said that “male protesters used Molotovs and fireworks to protect themselves during the clashes.”

Al-Azhar Universities also saw another day of protests by SAC, made up of supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The group, which was formed during the July 2013 Rabaa sit-in, announced that it is protesting against the “putchist regime”, and the death, detention and suspension of students. The group has also announced that it is boycotting the presidential elections and has been campaigning against it.

The spokesman of the group Youssof Salhen said that the group is not willing to stop protesting until Morsi’s government is reinstated and the “downfall of the coup”. He added that the group is only willing to negotiate after “the coup is over” and that they would continue protesting until then.

Salhen claimed that the group does not intend to obstruct the exams, adding that the groups’ protests try to avoid protesting near examination halls and during examinations times.

Following a drive-by shooting that took place in the early hours of the morning, which left three CSF officers dead and nine injured at Al-Azhar dorms, Salhen announced the group’s intention to “shortly pause” protests to avoid additional student casualties and detaintions.

“This pause does not mean that our protests will come to an end,” he said.

The Ministry of Interior spokesman General Hany Abdel Latif has previously said that there would be no more protests at universities and that security forces would interfere should university presidents authorise security forces outside campus to storm inside.

About the author

AbdelHalim H. AbdAllah

Follow AbdelHalim on twitter: @Abdukhalim1


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