Students shot dead as protest turns violent at Egyptian university


A man stands outside a burning faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stormed it on Dec. 28, 2013.



Two students were killed and at least 60 people were arrested Saturday as Egyptian police stormed the country's main Islamic university in Cairo to break up a student protest.

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The confrontation comes amid an intensifying crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government declared a terrorist organization earlier this week. Street battles across the country between security forces and supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi killed at least five people Friday and led to the arrests of hundreds.

At Cairo's Al-Azhar University, students were said to have stormed several buildings Saturday and set one of them on fire before police burst onto campus and fired tear gas.

But student spokeswoman Aya Fathy disputed the government's claim, saying the students were protesting peacefully.

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She accused the government of setting the Faculty of Commerce on fire to blame the students.

Khaled el-Haddad, a 19-year-old student at Al-Azhar, was shot dead in the clashes.

A second student who was in critical condition died later Saturday from his gunshot wound, Al Jazeera reported.

Pro-Morsi students have regularly staged protests at the university since the former president was overthrow by the army in July.

The violence in Al-Azhar University set off protests at a university in Zagzig, where students lobbed rocks at police forces.