Saturday saw continued protests in Egypt following the government’s decision to designate The Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization earlier this week. Clashes between Brotherhood supporters and police left one student activist dead and two buildings on fire at the Cairo campus of Al-Azhar University. Here’s Al Jazeera with the details:
State-run newspaper Al-Ahram said the clashes began when security forces fired tear gas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were preventing their colleagues from entering university buildings to take exams. Protesters threw rocks at the police and set tyres on fire to counter tear gas attacks.
State TV broadcast footage of black smoke billowing from the faculty of commerce building, and reported that protesters also set the agriculture faculty building on fire.
Amazingly, calm was restored on campus and end of the year exams resumed following the morning’s disruptions. Some 60 students were arrested, according to government reports.
The event is only the latest in an increasing clampdown on Brotherhood supporters by the army-backed government, according to Reuters, who puts the total number of arrested Brotherhood members in the thousands.
The government, who accused the Muslim Brotherhood of a deadly car bombing on Tuesday, says its new classification of the decades old Islamist organization is based on violence perpetrated by the group. Yet some political observers say the move is politically motivated, intended to quash dissent ahead of a key constitutional referendum in January.
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Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.