UPDATED: 3 police officers killed, 9 wounded in drive-by shooting

Aaron T. Rose
3 Min Read

Three police officers were killed and one officer and eight conscripts were injured in a drive-by shooting on early Tuesday morning while dispersing a protest outside Cairo’s Al-Azhar University.

According to a statement by the Ministry of the Interior, at 12am around 250 protesters from Al-Azhar University were blocking El-Khalifa El-Qaher Street while attacking local businesses and launching Molotov cocktails and fireworks at security forces.

The shooting occurred when passengers of a speeding car passed by and opened fire on the military forces.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior said there are currently no suspects in the shooting, but an investigation is underway.

No protesters were injured, according to the ministry spokesman.

Students Against the Coup (SAC), a group supporting deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, released a statement condemning the shooting, and all violence, in the “strongest terms possible”.

“What occurred is a crime we condemn in the strongest possible terms,” read the SAC statement, “and we hold the coup authorities responsible for all the Egyptian blood being spilt daily in the universities, streets and squares.”

In an official statement Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb expressed his “sincere grief and deep sorrow” and “condolences and prayers” for the killed and their families on behalf of himself and the Presidential Cabinet.

On Tuesday afternoon, Al-Azhar President Osama Al-Abed that all campus operations will be suspended from Thursday, the final day of exams, until 31 May, reported state-run Al-Ahram.

Al-Ahram also reported a heightened security presence in front of all the entrances to the university on Tuesday, including armed personnel and armoured vehicles.

The shooting comes less than 24 hours after two undercover police officers were shot dead by unknown assailants while returning home from their shift on a motorcycle.

Security forces have been the victims of numerous attacks since Morsi’s 3 July ouster, killing nearly 500.

Al-Azhar University, the oldest seat of Islamic learning, has been the site of an array of protests in support of Morsi and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Numerous students have been killed in violent clashes with security forces, while dozens have been arrested and expelled.

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Aaron T. Rose is an American journalist in Cairo. Follow him on Twitter: @Aaron_T_Rose
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