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Egypt: One Dead in Cairo Clashes

One person killed in Cairo, as authorities arrest dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members on terrorism charges.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/27/2013, 3:14 AM

Protest against the military in front of Cairo University
Protest against the military in front of Cairo University
Reuters

One person was killed in Cairo on Thursday, as student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with residents of a district where they were protesting.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said in a statement quoted by Reuters that the police fired teargas after the Al-Azhar University students clashed with residents in the Nasr City district of northeast Cairo.

"Clashes occurred between them and the residents, during which birdshot gunfire was exchanged," the statement said.

Al-Azhar University is considered the central university in the Muslim world for religious studies, and many students there are supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood has regularly organized pro-Morsi protests at the university.

Thursday’s clashes came as Egyptian security forces launched a wide-ranging crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Arabiya reported that 18 Brotherhood members, including a former lawmaker, were arrested. The latest crackdown comes a day after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s interim government.

Seven of the Muslim Brotherhood members were detained for a renewable two-week period in the city of Alexandria and 11 in the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, the report said.

They include the son of a deputy leader of the movement, the official MENA news agency reported.

Police also arrested 16 suspected Muslim Brotherhood members for passing out leaflets in support of the group and "inciting to violence," the agency reported.

The designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.

Tuesday's attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.

Nevertheless, Egypt’s government has said that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in the country.

The Brotherhood has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt, saying the Mansoura attack was “a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people” and adding it “demands an inquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be  brought to justice".